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BP’s Dudley says he’ll keep fighting claims paid under the oil spill settlement terms

LONDON — BP has hit dead ends in its all of its efforts to freeze payments on oil-spill claims under the settlement agreement terms it helped craft, but chief executive officer Robert Dudley vows to keep fighting. BP says that claims administrators are resolving “false and fictitious” claims made by some businesses with excessive payments and has asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans to stop claims administrator Patrick Juneau from paying any further damages until the settlement terms can be reconsidered by the court. Judge Barbier has rejected BP’s allegations and its request to halt payments pending ... Read More

Halliburton pleads guilty to criminal charges for destroying BP oil spill evidence

Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence that could have helped investigators understand the company’s role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 workers and set off the largest oil spill in U.S. history. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Halliburton will pay the maximum statutory fine of $200,000 under the plea agreement, which will also put the company on three years of probation. Halliburton has also agreed to cooperate with the U.S. government’s ongoing criminal investigation of the spill. In what the DOJ says is a “separate” arrangement, Halliburton will also make ... Read More

Gulf oil sheens coming from Deepwater Horizon rig debris, study finds

BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been making encore appearances ever since it erupted in the Gulf of Mexico a few dozen miles off the Louisiana coast, a group of researchers has concluded in a recent report. In the fall of 2012, many Gulf Coast residents were alarmed by news that more mysterious oil sheens were being found in the vicinity of BP’s Macondo well, which blew out more than three years ago, killing 11 workers and toppling the Deepwater Horizon rig. The new oil elevated concerns that BP’s well, which company engineers and contractors had capped and plugged ... Read More

BP’s request to halt oil-spill damage payments to be heard on Friday

As BP’s blown-out Macondo well gushed oil in the Gulf of Mexico throughout the spring and summer of 2010, BP engineers tried repeatedly to cap the runaway well and kill the oil spill, and repeatedly they failed. Now, years later, the BP legal team’s strategies mirror that frantic effort, only instead of capping oil, its lawyers are trying to stop the financial bleeding by fighting damage claims. The settlement that defines who is entitled to oil-spill damages and how those damages are calculated, like the Macondo well itself, is a product of BP’s design and approval. Facing the true scope ... Read More

New report says U.S. isn’t fully accounting for BP’s environmental damages

The U.S. government’s current methods of estimating the environmental destruction BP’s 2010 oil spill unleashed on the Gulf of Mexico are inadequate and don’t fully account for all the damage done to the Gulf, a panel of scientists concluded in a National Research Council report. The 254-page report, compiled by 16 scientists at the request of Congress, provides a detailed analysis of how the government’s efforts to put a price on the destruction fail to capture the full scope and magnitude of the environmental and economic damages the BP spill caused to the Gulf’s ecology, marine life, fisheries, and economy. ... Read More

Gulf leaders may lose critical opportunity to save remaining coastal wetlands

Last month, when Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced that virtually all the funds the state would receive from BP for oil-spill restoration would be used to build an $85-million luxury hotel and conference center on the beach, environmentalists knew it was going to be a long battle to reverse the harm done to the Gulf’s beaches and wetlands and the sensitive ecosystems they sustain. After all, millions of barrels of highly toxic dispersant-treated oil are still blanketing the seafloor just off the coast, smothering all life for hundreds of square miles. And there the oil will remain for the next ... Read More

BP will cease most oil spill cleanup work in June

BP is wrapping up its oil-spill cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast this month, pulling out of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and all but 83 miles of Louisiana coast, the company said. The oil giant has staged cleanup operations for more than three years after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010 and flooded the northern Gulf of Mexico with crude. BP said on Monday that it invested more than $14 billion and 70 million personnel hours on the spill response and cleanup operations in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. According to the company, at its peak in 2010, ... Read More

Gulf divers blame BP oil spill, chemical dispersants for strange illnesses

More than three years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion set off the worst oil spill in U.S. history, divers who worked in the vicinity of the spill collecting coral samples and taking journalists to the spill site say they are still suffering from a spectrum of illnesses they blame on their exposure to the contaminated Gulf waters. Scott Porter, a professional diver with a degree in marine biology, told the Tampa Bay Times that federal officials “kept telling us it was safe” to dive in the Gulf, so he and some fellow divers continued their work. At the time, Mr. ... Read More

Toxic oil, tar continue to wash ashore in Alabama years after BP oil spill

Tests conducted on the chunks of tar that continue to wash up along Alabama’s shoreline contain exactly the same chemical fingerprint as oil from BP’s massive 2010 oil spill, meaning the oily matter originates from the blown-out Macondo well that fed the Deepwater Horizon rig before it exploded and sank. As if that weren’t bad enough, scientific analyses have found all this tar is still loaded with highly toxic cancer-causing contaminants more than three years later. Reporters from Montgomery’s WSFA-TV 12 took a short walk on Orange Beach in March and collected two pounds of tar they found there. They then took ... Read More

Alabama’s plans to build convention center with BP oil spill recovery funds sparks anger

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama is receiving $94 million from BP to restore its share of the Gulf Coast in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the governor plans to spend more than 90 percent of those funds on building a new hotel and convention center on the Gulf.  The decision to use the funds for economic development rather than environmental restoration has sparked outrage among conservationists and others concerned about the Gulf’s recovery from the massive oil disaster. The plan is to spend $85.5 million of the BP money to build a convention center in Gulf ... Read More