John Konrad, a licensed captain who publishes a maritime blog and is consulting with survivors, said oil rigs should be under the command of licensed sea captains.
"On the Deepwater Horizon you had the guy who does the drilling plans able to make the call on safety," Konrad said.
Such dual command structures would not be accepted for U.S.-flagged operations, experts say.
The Deepwater Horizon captain testified to investigators last month that he conferred with the drilling manager before he attempted to disconnect the rig. By the time a crew member decided on his own to push the emergency disconnect, it was too late.
Kennedy, the spokesman for Transocean, said, "Having two complementary positions that reflect the dual functionality of the rig, as the Horizon did, provides a clear but collaborative chain of command that has been employed by the industry for decades."