Published 21 November 2019
Background to the Dispute
(Minor revisions 27/11/2019) The dispute before the Supreme Court has its beginnings in the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. In April 2010 a blowout caused an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig. 11 crewmembers were killed in the explosion. A resultant fire caused the rig to sink two days later, leaving oil flowing from the well at the seabed and into the ocean. The Deepwater Horizon incident is reported to have given rise to the largest oil spill in United States' waters.
The rig was owned by Transocean Holdings LLC ("Transocean"). Transocean had leased the rig to BP Exploration and Production Inc ("BP") and, at the same time, had been engaged by BP to provide crew and drilling teams. Halliburton Company ("Halliburton" or the "Appellant" in the English Court proceedings) had also been engaged by BP to provide cementing and well-monitoring services.