Transocean's $400 million Plea for Gulf Spill OK'd
Transocean Deepwater Inc., owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and caused the 2010 Gulf oil spill, pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge and fine of $400 million in criminal penalties.
Last month, the oil driller pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and to pay $1 billion in civil penalties in addition to the criminal penalties charged today. That plea is still pending for approval. Combined, the penalties represent the second largest recovery in an environment case, following the $4-billion sentence imposed on BP for the incident.
The majority of the $1.4 billion from Transocean will go towards environmental-restoration projects and spill-prevention research and training.
“Transocean’s guilty plea and sentencing are the latest steps in the department’s ongoing efforts to seek justice on behalf of the victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” said Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in a prepared statement. “Most of the $400-million criminal recovery -- one of the largest for an environmental crime in U.S. history -- will go toward protecting, restoring and rebuilding the Gulf Coast region.”
Since the incident, BP has paid over $24 billion on various settlements and cleanup efforts. Although its stock fell drastically after the accident, it has recovered by more than 40 percent since. The company continues to contend that the spill was in part the fault of its two contractors: Transocean and Halliburton.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.