• 15 mins PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 2 hours Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 4 hours Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 5 hours Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 6 hours Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 7 hours Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 9 hours Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 10 hours New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 12 hours Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 13 hours Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 19 hours Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 1 day British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 1 day Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 1 day Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 1 day Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 1 day OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 1 day London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 1 day Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 2 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 2 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 2 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days 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
  • 3 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 3 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 3 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
  • 4 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 4 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
  • 5 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan runs the popular geopolitics blog Informed Comment where he provides an independent and informed perspective on Middle Eastern and American politics.

More Info

Top Ten Costs of the BP Oil Spill that won't be Covered by the $4.5 Billion Fine

Top Ten Costs of the BP Oil Spill that won't be Covered by the $4.5 Billion Fine

BP recently agreed to pay a fine of some $4.5 billion dollars from the US Department of Justice for malfeasance in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest fine paid in US history. There are also manslaughter and obstruction of justice charges against individual executives.

BP also was forced by President Obama to pay out $20 billion for damage claims, though it has dragged its feet in actually making the payments. It faces further lawsuits and private payouts.

Given the high price of petroleum, however, BP can pay the fine with no difficulty (it is allowed to pay it over five years, or less than $1 billion a year. The company’s profits in 2011 were $40 billion. The fine was so slight that BP stock rose slightly on the news.

Meanwhile the actual damage that the oil spill did to the environment was almost certainly tens of billions more than any payouts BP has been forced to engage in. Not only is the monetary damage, in harm to fishing and tourism, substantial, but the damage to quality of life and to marine life and fisheries is unacceptably high.

All this before we even get to the point that BP’s oil sales are causing tons and tons of carbon dioxide to be dumped into the atmosphere, accelerating destructive climate change.

Here are some of the real costs of the oil spill, which typically won’t be mentioned in the MSM, and which dwarf in their cost a mere $4.5 billion fine.:

Related Article: Pipeline Companies Leak Detection System Only Detects 1 out of 20 Oil Spills

1. Fish with lesions and oozing sores. Dr. Jim Cowan: “The fishermen have never seen anything like this… And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”

2. Eyeless shrimp. (This parody of the BP greenwashing ads points to the upside here):

3. Already-endangered blue fin tuna further endangered.

4. A “graveyard of corals” on the floor of the Gulf.

5. Tar balls “teeming” with deadly Vibrio vulnificus bacteria (akin to the one that causes cholera) still being deposited on Gulf beaches:

6. Much reduced oyster catches, and increased heavy metals in oysters, along with increased vibrio vulnificus bacterial infections in oysters.

Related Article: Bacteria Consumed Over 200,000 Tons of Oil from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

7. Seriously ill dolphins. Some washed up on the beach:

Related Article: IEA Manipulates Stats to Predict Unrealistically High Oil Forecasts

8. Petroleum pollution in pelican eggs far from the Gulf, years later, following on initial images of Oil-drenched pelicans:

9. Disruption of nitrogen cycle of key microorganisms in Gulf waters, on which crabs and others feed.

10. Damage to plant life on Gulf islands and along the shore.

By. Professor Juan Cole




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




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