Appeals court affirms agency's right to investigate drilling rig owner in 2010 Gulf oil spill

IndustriesAssociated Press

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP PLC. The company had challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to do the investigation.

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In a 2-1 decision Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the board could investigate.

The safety board's investigation had continued during the appeal. In June, the board issued a report citing multiple failures and improper testing of the rig's blowout preventer as factors in the accident, and found fault with BP and Transocean.