BP Trial for Worst US Offshore Oil Spill Opens

By Admin
The long awaited trial against BP over the 2010 Macondo well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico commenced Monday morning. "The primary fault for thi...

 

The long awaited trial against BP over the 2010 Macondo well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico commenced Monday morning.

"The primary fault for this disaster lies with BP," Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Underhill said at the start of the trial, which is being overseen by Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans.

BP has already spent an upwards of $37 billion on cleanup, payouts, settlements and fines. The remaining liabilities could add tens of billions of dollars more to its tab should Barbier determine that BP was grossly negligent.

While no one at BP or the Justice Department has commented on an official settlement proposal, several lawyers have said that a $16 billion proposal had been made. The states of Alabama and Louisiana are also participating in the trial, although Florida, Mississippi and Texas were also affected. Louisiana, the hardest state hit from the disaster, is expected to see the largest payout of any state from a settlement in US history.

The New York Times writes, “the proposal signals the first agreement among states and the federal government on two other crucial issues: a rough plan for how the states would divide any settlement money, and how the settlement would balance fines and penalties against BP.”

The first phase of the trial is expected to last three months. Depending on Barbier's decision, the company may face non-tax-deductible fines as high as $17.6 billion under the Clean Water Act.

Eventually, BP will also face penalties for environmental damages and remediation costs, which could range from $5 billion to $20 billion.

Related story: Transocean's $1 Billion Civil Settlement OK'd

With so many claimants involved, with varying perspectives and interests from different locations, progress over the years has been slow. Last year, the company pleaded guilty to 14 criminal charges, including manslaughter and agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines and penalties. However, individuals, businesses and the Justice Department have also filed charges against BP.

The company has set aside a fund of $8.5 billion to settle those claims.

Read More in Energy Digital's February Issue

 

DOWNLOAD THE ENERGY DIGITAL IPAD APP

Share

Featured Articles

Britishvolt targets larger format batteries for upscale EVs

Battery technology pioneer unveils development roadmap for larger format, 46900 high-performance lithium-ion advanced cell technologies

Top 10 energy companies

These energy big-hitters are at the forefront of changing oil and gas dynamics and transition to renewable energy

INEOS Energy enters global LNG market with US supply deal

Major deal with Sempra Infrastructure will see the potential supply of 1.4mn tonnes of LNG a year from North America for 20 years

Britishvolt extends WMG battery cell contract

Renewable Energy

Shell, Accenture and AMEX GBT launch blockchain SAF project

Sustainability

Centrica shores up gas supplies for next three UK winters

Utilities