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Final settlement reached in Deepwater Horizon oil spill; BP to pay billions more

This news story was published on July 2, 2015.
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Discoverer Enterprise at the MC 252 site in the Gulf of Mexico

The Discoverer Enterprise arrives to install the capping equipment – July 2010
(BP photo)

MOBILE, ALABAMA – Remember that gigantic 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that had folks glued to their television sets watching millions of gallons of crude gush into the lush, tropical waters? Well, a final settlement has been reached between the company that was responsible and local/state governments who were harmed in the catastrophe.

Britain’s BP will end up paying well in excess of $43 billion dollars in criminal fines, clean up efforts, penalties and other claims from the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Americans watched in horror as oil gushed into the gulf, creating a gigantic oil slick that coated beaches, trees, fish, birds and other fragile wildlife.  Since then, negotiations on the massive claims of damage have been on-going, and a settlement has been reached.

BP announced Thursday the agreement with the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas also includes settlement of claims made by more than 400 local government entities.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch called the calamity “the largest environmental disaster in our nation’s history” and said the settlement “would justly and comprehensively address outstanding federal and state claims, including Clean Water Act civil penalties and natural resource damages … while also resolving significant economic claims with the impacted state and local governments. If approved by the court, this settlement would be the largest settlement with a single entity in American history; it would help repair the damage done to the Gulf economy, fisheries, wetlands and wildlife; and it would bring lasting benefits to the Gulf region for generations to come.”

The BP Board of Directors said in a statement that it “believes that this agreement is in the best long-term interest of BP and its shareholders. The Board set out its position on the dividend at the first quarter and this remains unchanged by the agreement.”

Bob Dudley, BP’s group chief executive, said: “This is a realistic outcome which provides clarity and certainty for all parties. For BP, this agreement will resolve the largest liabilities remaining from the tragic accident and enable BP to focus on safely delivering the energy the world needs. For the United States and the Gulf in particular, this agreement will deliver a significant income stream over many years for further restoration of natural resources and for losses related to the spill.”

As told by BP, the oil spill and response went something like this:

“On the evening of April 20, 2010, a gas release and subsequent explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig working on the Macondo exploration well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Eleven people died as a result of the accident and others were injured. We deeply regret this loss of life and recognize the tremendous loss suffered by the families, friends and co-workers of those who died.

“The fire burned for 36 hours before the rig sank, and hydrocarbons leaked into the Gulf of Mexico before the well was closed and sealed.

“The accident involved a well integrity failure, followed by a loss of hydrostatic control of the well. This was followed by a failure to control the flow from the well with the blowout preventer (BOP) equipment, which allowed the release and subsequent ignition of hydrocarbons. Ultimately, the BOP emergency functions failed to seal the well after the initial explosions.

We regret the impacts on the environment and livelihoods of those in the communities affected. We have, and continue to, put in place measures to help ensure it does not happen again.”

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6 Responses to Final settlement reached in Deepwater Horizon oil spill; BP to pay billions more

  1. LVS Reply Report comment

    July 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    They should pay for what they did. If they hadn’t lied at the start they might have controlled it and it wouldn’t have cost so much.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      and gas prices go up spontaneously

      • Anonymous Too Reply Report comment

        July 2, 2015 at 3:32 pm

        Yes, the BP customers will eventually be footing the bill for this with higher gas prices.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          July 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm

          Lets just hope they only raise prices in Great Britain. Historically, corporations always pass their cost to their customers.

          • Anonymous Too

            July 3, 2015 at 4:25 pm

            I agree, let’s hope the increases stay overseas.

          • John

            July 3, 2015 at 9:01 pm

            They may try to raise the prices here in the US, and they may supply other marketers we don’t know about such as Caseys and Kum & Go. There are not many BP stations in this area though, the only ones I have seen are in Waterloo and along the Interstate in Minnesota. If their price is higher than their competitor, they won’t sell much gas.