Judge hears oil spill cleanup workers' claims

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The federal judge for Gulf of Mexico oil spill cases was set to hear arguments Wednesday about whether BP PLC should get back hundreds of millions of dollars from businesses that got settlement payments between August 2012 and October 2013.

The oil company says that's only fair because Judge Carl Barbier found that the formula used then was incorrect and ordered a change.


Ex-BP exec Rainey faces fresh indictment

The Associated Press

A new indictment handed down by a federal grand jury Friday adjusts the charges against David Rainey, a former BP executive who faces a March trial over claims he made false statements to Congress about the company’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, The Associated Press reports.


Agency can look at rig owner's role in oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP PLC at its Macondo well, about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast when an explosion killed 11 workers and led to the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

The company had challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, often referred to as CSB, to do the investigation.


More pressure on BP to settle in wake of spill ruling

The Wall Street Journal

Thus far BP has promised to fight U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling that the company’s reckless conduct led to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout, but the prospect of bigger-than-expected fines and investors’ hopes for a clearer picture of what BP might owe could result in mounting pressure for a settlement, The Wall Street Journal reports.


BP exec, journalists, duel over spill reporting


On Wednesday night, senior BP executive Geoff Morrell criticized the reporting on the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, claiming that journalists weren’t giving the full picture on the recovery of the region since the accident, but reporters took to Twitter in response, following Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling a day later that the oil company had been reckless, FuelFix reports.


Gulf of Mexico residents hail ruling against BP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmentalists, recreational fishermen and people who make their living on the Gulf of Mexico are hailing a federal judge's ruling that could mean $18 billion in additional fines for BP over the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

Lisa Smith cheered and gave an emphatic "yes" Thursday afternoon when she heard about the decision as she fished off a beach bridge in Florida.

"BP should have to pay, they've done a lot of damage," Smith said.


BP stock slumps on news of prospective fines

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge's ruling in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill case that could cost BP an additional $17.6 billion in fines sent the company's shares tumbling Thursday.

BP was found by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to have acted with "gross negligence," leading to the worst U.S. offshore oil spill. The ruling triggers the highest possible fines under the Clean Air Act of $4,300 per barrel of oil spilled.

The number of barrels spilled is being debated but is likely to fall between 2.4 million and 4.1 million barrels. That translates to a fine of between $10.3 billion and $17.6 billion.


Ruling against BP could mean $18 billion in fines

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP could be looking at close to $18 billion in additional fines over the nation's worst offshore oil spill after a federal judge ruled Thursday that the company acted with "gross negligence" in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier concluded that the London-based oil giant showed a "conscious disregard of known risks" during the drilling operation and bears most of the responsibility for the blowout that killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil over three months.


Judge: BP's reckless conduct caused Gulf oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP acted "recklessly" and bears most of the responsibility for the nation's worst offshore oil spill, a federal judge concluded Thursday, exposing the energy giant to roughly $18 billion in additional penalties.

BP's market value plummeted by $7 billion after the ruling as its shares suffered their worst percentage decline in almost three years. By Thursday afternoon, company shares had fallen almost 6 percent to $45.05.

BP PLC, which vowed to appeal, already agreed to pay billions in criminal fines and compensation to people and businesses affected by the disaster. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling that BP acted with "gross negligence" deals instead with civil responsibilities, and could nearly quadruple what the London-based company has to pay in fines for polluting the Gulf of Mexico.

The judge held a non-jury trial last year to apportion blame for the Macondo well spill, which killed 11 men on the Deepwater Horizon rig and spewed oil for 87 days in 2010.

He ruled that BP bears 67 percent of the blame, Swiss-based drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. bears 30 percent, and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton Energy Services is responsible for 3 percent.


Halliburton reaches $1B Gulf oil spill settlement

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.

A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. That same judge has rulings pending on the extent to which parties, including Halliburton, were negligent in the deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. Those rulings could affect plaintiffs' decisions on whether to participate in the settlement, which was announced Tuesday.


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