Citing a "lack of business integrity," the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was temporarily suspending the oil giant BP from entering into new contracts with the federal government.
In a press release, the EPA said BP demonstrated the lack of integrity during the Deepwater Horizon "blowout, explosion, oil spill and response." This kind of suspension, the EPA explained, is "standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."
The body of one of two missing oil rig workers has been found near the offshore platform that caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil company says divers will continue looking for the other missing worker.
Petrobras USA says production has begun at its Chinook oil field in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The company says production started last week in the field using a specialized ship that processes and stores oil and natural gas in place of a production platform. The field is being worked by BW Pioneer, a type of ship known in the oil industry as a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO.
Updated: Sometime Tuesday, Hurricane Isaac could bring significant weather conditions to more than a thousand drilling rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil prices are already on the rise. As you can see in the map to the right by Accuweather, there are several Gulf drilling regions that are under a "high" or "moderate" threat by the storm.
The state Office of Conservation has ordered petroleum exploration and production companies to take necessary precautions to ensure their sites are secure as Hurricane Isaac nears.
Conservation Commissioner James Welsh said operators of oilfield and related structures as well as pipelines have been directed under the state's emergency declaration to ensure wells and other facilities do not create environmental threats.