• 4 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 8 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 10 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 11 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 12 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 13 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 14 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 17 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 23 hours India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 1 day Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 1 day Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 3 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 6 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 7 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 7 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 8 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
The Natural Gas Market Is Set To Boom

The Natural Gas Market Is Set To Boom

With the new lower-for-longer oil…

BP, Halliburton and Transocean Found Negligent in Deepwater Horizon Spill

BP, Halliburton and Transocean Found Negligent in Deepwater Horizon Spill

A federal judge has ruled that BP is guilty of gross negligence in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier also found Halliburton Co. and Transocean Ltd. negligent, but not to the extent that BP was in causing the disaster, which began with an explosion on Transocean’s offshore drilling rig on April 20, 2010 and ended up spilling an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf for three months.

“BP’s conduct was reckless,” Barbier wrote in his decision handed down in New Orleans federal court on Sept. 4. “Transocean’s conduct was negligent. Halliburton’s conduct was negligent.” He said BP’s share of the blame was 67 percent, Transocean’s was 30 percent, and Halliburton’s fault was 3 percent.

Britain’s BP was the principal defendant in the case because the rig was drilling for BP-owned oil in the Macondo well. Transocean, a Swiss company, also was a defendant because it owned the rig, named Deepwater Horizon. Halliburton, a Houston oilfield services company, was named because it provided the cement for the walls of the well.

The ruling was a critical milestone in a legal case that is looking at the cause of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, the impact on victims of five states with coastlines on the Gulf, and who was liable for how much.

The plaintiffs include the U.S. government, the five states affected, banks, seafood purveyors and fishermen who, combined, lost billions of dollars because of the spill. The ruling resolves some of the issues but appeals may drag on for years before a final settlement is reached.

BP already has set aside $3.5 billion to cover what it may have to pay in compensation.

The judge still has not ruled on exactly how much oil was spilled, which will be an important element in determining the company’s liability. Yet Barbier’s ruling of gross negligence could lead to BP being fined $18 billion, the maximum penalty under the Clean Water Act, if he eventually agrees with U.S. prosecutors that more than 4 million barrels of oil were spilled.

The decision could also expose BP to unspecified punitive damages for claimants who weren’t part of the $9.2 billion settlement the company reached with most non-government plaintiffs in 2012. Barbier did not address that in his ruling.

Because Transocean and Halliburton were guilty of only simple negligence, not gross negligence, they will not be liable for the same punitive damages. Further, on Sept. 2, Halliburton reached a settlement in the same court under which it agreed to pay $1.1 billion to resolve most of the claims against it.

As the disaster was unfolding during the summer of 2010, it was discovered that the drilling project had been plagued by equipment failures and questions about proper supervision. The federal government responded with new regulations on safety practices for such offshore projects.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News