Pollution

Oil

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.

Oil

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.

Oil

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.

Oil

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.

Oil

Civil penalty of $1.4M for Exxon after 2012 crude spill

Source: 
The Hill

$1.4 million will settle federal claims stemming from a crude oil spill from a pipeline operated by an Exxon Mobil subsidiary in Louisiana back in 2012, an amount the company has agreed to pay, The Hill reports.

Oil

Small Albany oil spill contained

Source: 
Times Union

Oil sprayed from a faulty gasket in a pipeline at a Global Partners tank facility in the Port of Albany Wednesday afternoon, but crews shut valves quickly, only about 100 gallons spilled, no one was injured, and authorities said cleanup was underway, the Times Union reports.

Ecologists team up to buy Texas bayside ranch

HOUSTON (AP) — A sprawling private ranch in southeast Texas will be converted into a state park with the assistance of a fund created in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation announced Thursday.

The $37.7 million purchase of the Powderhorn Ranch, 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, is the highest price ever paid for a Texas conservation project and the biggest land acquisition so far using BP spill restoration dollars.

Oil

Feds say oil spill sheen dissipating in Ohio River

CINCINNATI (AP) — Most of a reddish-brown sheen created by thousands of gallons of fuel oil that spilled into the Ohio River from a power plant was dissipating as a cleanup estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a day continued Wednesday, federal officials said.

Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are coordinating the response to the spill, which occurred at a Duke Energy power plant near Cincinnati late Monday. About 1,000 gallons of oil and contaminated water had been recovered as of Wednesday, the EPA said. The federal agency also said it expects cleanup to cost about $250,000 a day, based on Duke's estimates. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company is responsible for cleaning up the estimated 3,000 to 5,000 gallons spilled.

The EPA has not said how long the cleanup is expected to take. Officials say the spill has had minimal impact on wildlife.

Oil

Stretch of Ohio River reopens after fuel oil spill

CINCINNATI (AP) — A 15-mile stretch of the Ohio River closed after a fuel oil spill reopened to river traffic on Tuesday with some restrictions as containment and cleanup continued.

River traffic in that area must get Coast Guard clearance and maintain a safe speed, agency spokeswoman Lt. Katherine Cameron said. The area was closed to all traffic, including barges carrying commercial goods, after the spill from a Duke Energy power plant in New Richmond.

The spill at the W.C. Beckjord Station happened at about 11:15 p.m. Monday during a routine transfer of fuel oil from a larger tank to smaller ones and was stopped within about 15 minutes, Duke spokeswoman Sally Thelen said.

Oil

Oil spill liability cap raised

Source: 
FuelFix

The Coast Guard has increased the liability cap – the amount a company would have to pay in the event of an oil spill in U.S. waters -- by more than 15 percent, to more than $404 million for onshore facilities, in a regulation published in the Federal Register Tuesday that's now open to a 60-day comment period, FuelFix reports.

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