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Transocean may settle federal civil, criminal oil-spill claims for $1.5 billion

The U.S. Justice Department and Transocean Ltd. are reportedly close to settling a lawsuit that would resolve federal civil and criminal claims against the company for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Transocean executives, however, cautioned in a regulatory filing that the $1.5-billion agreement hinged on a number of issues, including possible payment schedules. “There can be no assurance that the parties will enter into agreements on the terms described or at all,” Transocean’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission stated. Like BP, Switzerland-based Transocean, which owned and leased the Deepwater Horizon rig to BP ... Read More

BP execs wanted to fault blue collar rig workers for oil spill, U.S. lawyers charge

BP executives sought to steer blame for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster away from themselves and toward “blue collar rig workers,” U.S. Justice Department lawyers charge, according to a newly released section of court documents. The accusations were part of a 39-page document detailing the U.S. government’s harsh criticism of BP’s internal investigation of the deadly spill, which erupted from BP’s blown-out Macondo well, killing 11 workers, and flooding the Gulf of Mexico with more than 200 million gallons of oil. Accusations that BP was trying to pin the blame on workers were originally blacked out in accordance with ... Read More

Gulf residents urged to report oil, tar dredged up by Hurricane Isaac

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is asking the public to report any sightings of tar and oil that may have been dredged up by Hurricane Isaac and deposited on beaches, barrier islands, marshes, and other areas. As the storm makes its way inland and flood waters start to recede, the agency said it is possible that oil that submerged oil and tar from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have been washed ashore by the storm’s upswells and surges. Oil, tar, and oily debris may be present on Louisiana’s beaches, barrier islands, marshes, ... Read More

Yucatán official says Mexican government hiding knowledge of BP oil spill damage

BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded 45 miles off the southeast Louisiana coast, unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. But 470 miles across the Gulf in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, little is known about the disaster’s impact on the environment and vital ecological systems, thanks to the silence of Mexico’s leadership, one top-ranking authority asserts. According to the Yucatán Times, “Eduardo Adolfo Batllori Sampedro, the Secretary of Urban Development and Environment (Seduma) spoke out loudly against the federal government, who he says has completely hidden the results of the damage done to the coasts of Yucatán.” Mr. Sampedro believes BP’s ... Read More

Authorities fear Hurricane Isaac will dredge up submerged BP oil

As Hurricane Isaac churns along the Gulf Coast, scientists and state authorities are concerned there is a good chance that it will dredge up oil and tar that settled on the ocean floor after BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and unleashed a mammoth oil spill in 2010. “Winds will push water away from the center of a storm, which causes an upwelling as the ocean tries to adjust,” Nick Shay, professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami, told Huffington Post. “It brings whatever is near the bottom up higher in the water column and currents can ... Read More

City of Tampa considers suing BP for oil spill damages

Tampa, Florida has joined the list of municipalities considering taking legal action against BP over revenues it alleges to have lost amid the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, which plagued the Gulf Coast for months in 2010. The Tampa Tribune reports that city officials may hire a law firm to determine whether the city has a legitimate claim for damages against BP. Although no oil or tar from the BP oil spill reached Tampa’s shores, millions of Florida-bound vacationers canceled their trips as a cloud of uncertainty about the spill’s size and direction hovered over the Gulf of Mexico in ... Read More

BP oil spill may have triggered deadliest year for raw oyster consumption

2010 was one of the deadliest years ever recorded for consuming raw Gulf of Mexico oysters due to steeply elevated levels of the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria that occurred in the months during and after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The number of illnesses and deaths traced to the consumption of raw oysters in 2010 was especially alarming, given that Gulf oyster harvests dropped by 40 percent that year. A new analysis of scientific reports conducted by the Mobile Press-Register found that Vibrio vulnificus, a waterborne bacteria related to cholera, was hundreds of times more abundant in the Gulf of Mexico ... Read More

Enormous mass of dead fish troubles scientists and Louisiana residents

Oceanographers and scientists have been warning that only time will reveal how much damage BP’s massive oil spill and its use of chemical oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico have done to the environment and marine ecology. This week a troubling sign has emerged in the form of an astonishingly large mass of floating dead fish just west of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Masses of dead fish surfacing in the Gulf of Mexico are unfortunately  common events, especially near the mouth of the Mississippi River where oxygen-depleted dead zones created by miles of fertilizer runoff frequently choke ... Read More

Senate panel abolishes $75-million oil spill liability cap

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted today to lift the $75-million liability cap that limits the financial damages drillers can incur for their offshore oil spills. The cap, enacted in 1990 after the Exxon Valdez spill polluted Alaska’s Prince William Sound, holds oil companies liable for economic damages and cleanup costs up to $75 million. Damages over that amount are to be paid for by the government using tax money. House Democrats have sought to overturn the cap retroactively after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, creating the largest oil spill and ... Read More