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Earlier news

Oil execs grilled

NEW YORK, 05-03-2010

The three oil companies primarily involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill blamed each other Tuesday for the accident last month that left 11 workers dead and oil still spewing into the Gulf.

At Congressional hearings, BP (BP), the well's owner and lead operator of the project, sought to turn attention to Transocean, which had a contract to drill the well for BP using its Deepwater Horizon drill rig.

"Transocean, as owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, had responsibility for the safety of drilling operations," Lamar McKay, chairman and president of BP America, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the morning.

In particular, McKay drew attention to the valve that was supposed to shut off the well in case of an accident. The valve, known as a blowout preventer (BOP), is owned by Transocean.

"Clearly, the BOP remains a critical piece of equipment throughout all operations to ensure well control," said McKay.

In written testimony before the hearing, Transocean (RIG) said the blowout preventer performed fine in tests just a week before the accident.