Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team Releases Final Report
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team (JIT) today released its final investigative report on the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explosion, loss of life, and resulting oil spill. The report is comprised of Volume I, covering the areas of investigation under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard; Volume II, covering the areas of the investigation under BOEMRE jurisdiction; and a supplement to Volume I – the Final Action Memo from Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp.
The JIT was formed on April 27, 2010, by a convening order of the Departments of the Interior and Homeland Security to investigate the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, loss of life, and resulting oil spill, and to make recommendations for safe operations of future oil and gas activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The JIT held seven sessions of public hearings, received testimony from more than 80 witnesses and experts, and reviewed a large number of documents and exhibits pertaining to all aspects of the investigation. Volume I, released April 22, 2011, includes findings on five aspects of the disaster under Coast Guard jurisdiction – including the explosions on the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon; the resulting fire; evacuations; the flooding and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon; and the safety systems of the MODU and its owner, Transocean. The Coast Guard's Final Action Memo details actions directed by Adm. Papp, as a result of the JIT's work, reflecting the Coast Guard's commitment to all of those affected by this tragic yet historic event and underscoring its commitment to the stewardship of our maritime environment.
Volume II includes findings on the causes, both direct and contributing, of the Macondo blowout and the resulting explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon. In Volume II, the JIT details evidence developed during the investigation and concludes that BP, Transocean and Halliburton’s conduct in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster violated a number of federal offshore safety regulations under BOEMRE’s jurisdiction. Volume II also includes recommendations for the continued improvement of the safety of offshore operations.
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, BOEMRE launched the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history. The reforms strengthen requirements for everything from well design and workplace safety to corporate accountability. An additional rule, which will be made available for public comment in the coming weeks, will incorporate additional safety requirements that are related to the findings of the investigation. For more information on BOEMRE's new heightened safety standards, go to: http://www.boemre.gov/Reforms.htm.