BP oil spill

Brocken Inaglory / Wikimedia

New research shows that the BP oil spill left an oily “bathub ring” on the sea floor that’s about the size of Rhode Island.

The study by David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig. Valentine said the spill left other splotches containing even more oil.

A former BP engineer waiting for a retrial on charges stemming from the 2010 oil spill has been granted permission to travel abroad.

A federal judge says that Kurt Mix will be allowed to travel to China next month to attend his stepson's wedding, and visit with family.

Prosecutors have accused Mix of deleting text messages about the amount of oil hushing from the blown-out well.

He was convicted on one count in 2013 but won a new trial based on juror misconduct. He has pleaded not-guilty.

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Louisiana will receive $340 million from oil giant BP for coastal restoration projects in the state.

The payout was given final approval today by BP’s trustees.

The oil company must pay for damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, under the rules of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment program.

Louisiana plans to use the money for “outer coast restoration,” including rebuilding barrier islands in the state.

Beach, dune, and marsh habitat creation projects are planned for four islands in the state, including Whiskey Island and Shell Island.

A former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has gotten a delay in his case.

David Rainey's court arraignment, originally set for this week, was re-scheduled for December 3 by a federal magistrate judge in New Orleans Thursday.

Rainey faces charges of obstruction of Congress and false statements. He currently is set for trial March 9. He has pleaded not guilty.

Businesses Won't Have To Return BP Spill Payouts

Sep 24, 2014
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.

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