- BP was leasing the rig when it exploded
- South Korea built the rig itself
- Switzerland, well a firm there, operated the rig
- Independant contractors worked on the rig
- Marshall Islands is the official flag over the Deep Water Horizon (rig) [a small island country, so the rig is subject to their rules/regs not the US just like cruise ships)
- Private companies, a bunch of them, were contracted by the Marshall Islands to run day-to-day operations
- Marshall Islands is third largest ship registerer in the world
so count yourself lucky that BP is picking up the tab on any of this ... they could just sit back and point fingers while they try to work out the maritime law/liablity issues! And that could take forever to do.
One maritime law expert says that if the US didn't have to deal with the unions on these rigs, then companies would be more likely to fly the US flag and be subject to our laws ... but the unions just make the rigs too expensive to operate.