Gulf Oil Spill News

Federal judge rejects BP's request for repayment on oil spill claims

By Jennifer Larino – The Times-Picayune – September 24, 2014

A federal judge Wednesday (Sept. 24) ruled that BP has no right to recover more than $185 million the company says was overpaid to claimants under its oil spill settlement. BP said it plans to appeal the decision. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said the settlement BP agreed to makes it clear the British oil giant cannot claw back payments, even if the terms change as a result of future court rulings. BP sought repayment - plus interest - after a May court order approved a change in accounting rules for how oil spill losses were calculated under the settlement. For full story, click here.

BP’s ‘gross negligence’ caused Gulf oil spill, federal judge rules

By Steven Mufson –  The Washington Post – September 4, 2014 

A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday ruled that BP’s “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” had caused the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and that the company’s “reckless” behavior made it subject to fines of as much as $4,300 a barrel under the Clean Water Act. A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday ruled that BP’s “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct” had caused the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and that the company’s “reckless” behavior made it subject to fines of as much as $4,300 a barrel under the Clean Water Act. For full story, click here.

Gulf Oyster Harvest Has Nose-Dived Since BP Spill

By Stacey Plaisance – ABC News – August 12, 2014

On this day, Slavich's cage-like net pulls up dozens of empty, lifeless oyster shells. "It's not good," he said, shaking his head as he pushed the shells back into the water. "We've never seen it like this, not out here." Gulf Coast oyster harvests have declined dramatically in the four years since a BP PLC oil well blew wild in the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. Even after a modest rebound last year, thousands of acres of oyster beds where oil from the well washed ashore are producing less than a third of their pre-spill harvest. For full story, click here.

Dispersant chemical found in beach oil patties four years after BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, new study says

By Mark Schleifstein – Nola The Times-Picayume – June 26, 2014

Traces of a chemical contained in dispersants used to break up oil during the 87-day BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were found in material deposited on deepwater corals six months after the spill, and in weathered oil patties on Gulf Coast beaches four years later, according to a scientific letter published online this week in Environmental Science & Technology, the peer-reviewed research journal of the American Chemical Society. Researchers found tiny amounts of DOSS, an abbreviation of the chemical compound dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, in both the oil patties and deepwater sediment. The research conducted by scientists with Haverford College in Pennsylvania and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts raises new questions about the assumptions on how quickly two COREXIT brand dispersants disappeared after being used to break up oil into tiny droplets, said lead author Helen Kirsty White, an assistant professor of chemistry at Haverford. For full story, click here.

Gannett exclusive: BP shuts down internal oil spill claims program

By David Hammer – Gannett Shreveport Times – June 24, 2014 – Video

In a shocking move, BP has decided to shut down its internal oil spill claims program, taking away an avenue for more than 10,000 claimants who have opted out of the oil giant’s controversial settlement agreement or others who are not covered by it. BP won’t say how many claimants it served with the BP Claims Program over the last two years, but the amount paid through the end of April was a paltry $12 million. By contrast, over the exact same time frame, the court-supervised settlement program paid $3.8 billion. For full story and to view video, click here.

Gulf operations still unsafe despite reforms -- CSB probe

Nathanial Gronewold – E & E Publishing – June 5, 2014

Four years after the deadly Macondo offshore well blowout and explosion, oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico remains unsafe despite scores of reform efforts, an independent federal investigative team warns in a report released here today. The accident at the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and seriously injured 17 sparked a wide-reaching reform initiative for offshore drilling regulations with authorities dissolving one federal agency and creating three new ones in its place. And a chastened industry responded by creating two offshore-blowout response teams and promising to double down on safety and assurance systems. But in a new investigation of the 2010 oil spill that could spark fresh debate over offshore oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board concludes that all these changes aren't enough. For full story, click here.

Study estimates BP spill killed more than 800,000 birds

By Christina Steube – Sun Herald – May 28, 2014

Between 600,000 and 800,000 birds have died along the Gulf Coast as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, according to a study to be released this summer by the Marine Ecology Progress Series. Pascagoula River Audubon Center Director Mark LaSalle believes the total is in the seven-figure range. Whatever the number, LaSalle said the massive loss is a "major blow" to the ecosystem. For full article, click here.