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Gulf oil spill: Deepwater Horizon was due for major overhaul

July 23, 2010 |  1:59 pm
The Deepwater Horizon was in poor condition prior to its exploding in the Gulf of Mexico and triggering the worst U.S. offshore oil spill in history, an engineering technician told federal investigators at a hearing in suburban New Orleans Friday.

“The rig was in very bad condition,” said Mike Williams, a chief engineer technician who worked for rig owner Transocean aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which erupted in flames April 20, killing 11 crew members.

Williams said he was told that the mobile floating rig was going to be returned for an overhaul next year for a “very long time,” something that wasn’t surprising to him, given a history of deferred maintenance.

The testimony was made at a hearing of a joint U.S. Coast Guard-Interior Department investigation probing the cause of the oil spill.

--Rong-Gong Lin II in Kenner, La.