Offshore Casualty

Mineral exploration and production structures offshore, whether fixed, floating or in-between, tension-legged or dynamically positioned, create an intersection between the oilfield and the maritime world. Over about fifty years of litigation, our jurisprudence has used maritime law and federal statutes and adjoining stateside law to achieve resolution of commercial and injury and pollution problems which arise in the real world. The real world in this context includes mud logging and wireline logging, measurement while drilling, trips and chains and tongs, blow-out preventers and kellys and elevators, casing and fishing tools and remotely operated vehicles, drillers and floorhands and tool pushers, caterers and supply boats and mud engineers. The list could go on, but the point is that the cases require application of our legal systems, contracts and master service agreements, and insurance arrangements to the casualties which happen offshore, whether on deck or down hole or on the way to or from the rig. Testing of these sometimes complex issues in mediation, before committing their resolution to the courthouse, provides an opportunity for parties on any side of a dispute to seek risk avoidance and some measure of control in the dispute resolution process.