• 3 minutes Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 7 minutes Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 12 minutes Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 31 mins Oil prices going Up? NO!
  • 1 day Could Venezuela become a net oil importer?
  • 4 hours Reuters: OPEC Ministers Agree In Principle On 1 Million Barrels Per Day Nominal Output Increase
  • 9 mins Tesla Closing a Dozen Solar Facilities in Nine States
  • 2 hours Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.
  • 1 day Gazprom Exports to EU Hit Record
  • 1 day EU Leaders Set To Prolong Russia Sanctions Again
  • 31 mins Renewables to generate 50% of worldwide electricity by 2050 (BNEF report)
  • 2 hours Oil prices going down
  • 1 day Why is permian oil "locked in" when refineries abound?
  • 1 day Oil Buyers Club
  • 1 day EVs Could Help Coal Demand
  • 16 hours Russia's Energy Minister says Oil Prices Balanced at $75, so Wants to Increase OPEC + Russia Oil by 1.5 mbpd
  • 38 mins Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 23 mins Saudi Arabia turns to solar
  • 1 day China’s Plastic Waste Ban Will Leave 111 Million Tons of Trash With Nowhere To Go
Cashing In On The Coming $10 Trillion Crypto Boom

Cashing In On The Coming $10 Trillion Crypto Boom

Perhaps the fastest-growing niche in…

Good News For BP In Oil Spill Case

BPSpill

Credit: AP PHOTO/GERALD HERBERT

A Federal District Court judge in New Orleans ruled Thursday that BP was responsible for spilling 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, about a million barrels less than the U.S. government’s 4.2 million barrel estimate. The ruling decreases BP’s maximum fine from $18 billion — which the company would have been subject to had the judge ruled in favor of the government’s estimate — to $13.7 billion.

In his ruling, District Court Judge Carl Barbier wrote about the challenges of estimating the size of the spill, which occurred after a well failure caused an explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, killing 11 people.

“There is no way to know with precision how much oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico,” Judge Barbier wrote. “There was no meter counting off each barrel of oil as it exited the well. The experts used a variety of methods to estimate the cumulative discharge. None of these were perfect. Because data from the well is limited, every expert had to make some assumptions while performing his calculations.”

But, the judge wrote, after “weighing all of the evidence and considering all of the arguments,” the Court found that, in total, 4.0 million barrels of oil exited the reservoir, but since 810,000 barrels were captured at the wellhead — a figure both the U.S. and BP agreed on — the total amount spilled amounted to 3.19 million barrels.

Related: BP, Halliburton and Transocean Found Negligent in Deepwater Horizon Spill

Edward F. Sherman, a professor at Tulane University Law School, told the New York Times that, even though Judge Barbier didn’t explain clearly how he came to the 4.0-million-barrel estimate, his choice to take the middle road between the two group’s estimates was smart.

“At times we claim precision,” he said, but “there’s no way to precisely find the numbers, so why not pick a number as he did, reasonably between the two numbers provided by the parties?”

Still, the ruling is good news for BP, as it lowers the amount of fines it faces from $18 billion to $13.7 billion.

“Today’s ruling is a major victory for BP and reduces by billions their potential liability,” David Uhlmann, a law professor at the University of Michigan, told Bloomberg.

The ruling is the latest in a string of court rulings deciding the blame, extent, and penalties from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In September, Judge Barbier found that BP was “reckless” and “grossly negligent” in helping cause the spill, and ruled that BP was responsible for the bulk of the blame for the spill. Judge Barbier’s Thursday ruling comes a week before a trial that will determine the total amount of fines BP is subject to, based on a maximum fine of $4,300 per barrel — an amount that can be lowered based on factors such as whether BP made efforts to minimize the spill’s impact.

Related: U.S. Court Rules Against BP In Gulf Spill Claims Case

Late last year, BP faced controversy when the company’s senior vice president of communications, Geoff Morrell, wrote a piece in Politico titled “No, BP Didn’t Ruin The Gulf,” that was, until Politico added a large “opinion” tag, easily mistaken for an article and not an opinion piece.

Scientists still don’t know the extent to which the Deepwater Horizon oil spill damaged the Gulf of Mexico. In July, scientists at Penn State University found that two previously-undiscovered coral reefs near the spill site were much worse off than expected. And in October, scientists discovered a 1,235-square-mile “bathub ring” of oil on the ocean floor near the Macondo well.

By Katie Valentine

Source - http://thinkprogress.org/ 

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

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