BP oil spill

kris krüg / Wikimedia

BP wanted its money back — hundreds of millions of dollars of it — but a federal judge says the oil giant must stick by an agreement with companies that got payouts after claiming the 2010 Gulf oil spill hurt their business.

BP argued Wednesday that a flawed funding formula in the settlement is giving money to businesses for questionable claims, and they should be forced to return it.

But U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier says a deal is a deal. Barbier had ordered the formula changed several weeks ago

BP will be asking a federal judge in New Orleans today to approve refunding some settlement payments over the 2010 oil spill.

The company says hundreds of millions of dollars should be returned from some businesses that received payments between August 2012 to October of last year.

BP says it's fair because Judge Carl Barbier found the formula used at that time was incorrect, and ordered a change.

Opposing attorneys say BP is trying to get out of its obligations. They say the release plaintiffs sign to get a settlement payment is a binding agreement for both sides.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans says a federal safety board has the right to investigate the role of Transocean in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for BP. 

The company challenged the authority of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to do the investigation.

In a 2-1 decision yesterday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that the board could investigate.

The safety board's investigation continued during the appeal. 

Back in school, did you ever fudge the spacing on a report to meet the teacher's page-length requirement? Lawyers representing oil company BP tried something similar in a recent court filing connected to the company's 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP was to blame — that was U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling a week ago in the case over the Macondo well disaster. The judge found Transocean, which was operating the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, and cement contractor Haliburton at fault too. But Barbier said BP was guilty of “gross negligence”. And that could mean that payouts by BP balloon to $50 billion or more ultimately.

Dr. Jim Richardson, professor of public administration and economics at LSU explains some of the business implications.

United States Coast Guard / Wikimedia Commons

With a ruling finally in on the civil action suit against BP, both sides are looking ahead to what’s next. BP plans to appeal the decision, and plaintiffs are hoping to see some more money flowing from the oil giant to coastal restoration projects.

The ballroom of a New Orleans Hilton was packed with reporters in town for the Society of Environmental Journalists conference recently.

BP will be appealing a federal judge’s finding that it acted with gross negligence for its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Some legal experts say the oil company will have a tough time in the appellate process.

In a long-awaited ruling, a federal judge on Thursday said BP acted with gross negligence in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and consequent oil spill.

The decision could cost the British oil giant billions of dollars. Bloomberg reports:

A spokesperson for BP says the tragedy of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was covered in great depth, but media have underreported the resilience the Gulf Coast has shown the last four years, and BP's role in its recovery.

Geoff Morrell is Senior Vice President for US Communications at BP. He addressed a few hundred reporters in New Orleans for the international Society of Environmental Journalists conference. Morrell defended BP’s record since the oil spill.

BP wants a federal judge to remove Patrick Juneau as administrator of damage claims from its 2010 oil spill.

BP says in court documents that he failed to disclose a major conflict of interest.

The motion filed yesterday says Juneau represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process, and he pushed for favorable terms for those with claims.

BP says that shows he's not the neutral person required for the job.

Juneau says he will respond in court.