Govt lawyer: Oil rig owner hindering federal probe

A government lawyer says the owner of the oil rig that exploded and led to the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill is thwarting a federal board's efforts to make safety recommendations by not honoring its subpoenas.

Those recommendations would be aimed at preventing such an accident from happening again.

But an attorney for rig owner Transocean says the U.S. Chemical Safety Board lacks the authority to investigate such an incident.

The Justice Department and Transocean argued in federal court in Houston Wednesday over whether Transocean should comply with five board subpoenas. The board is one of several agencies investigating the April 20, 2010, explosion that killed 11 workers.

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal is expected to make a ruling at a later date.