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BP ruled grossly negligent in 2010 oil spill

Published on Sep 5, 2014 6:33 AM
 
A BP cleanup crew shovels oil from a beach in this May 24, 2010, file photo, at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. BP potentially faces billions of dollars in new fines after a New Orleans judge concluded it acted with "gross negligence" ahead of the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - BP potentially faces billions of dollars in new fines after a New Orleans judge concluded it acted with "gross negligence" ahead of the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Federal court judge Carl Barbier said that the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blowout, which killed 11 and spilled millions of barrels of oil into Gulf waters, happened because BP's US subsidiaries, along with oil-services company Halliburton and rig owner Transocean, did not take adequate care in drilling a risky well.

Judge Barbier said that the British oil giant knew that the Macondo well it was drilling, called by some working on it the "well from hell", was particularly dangerous because of the high danger of a blowout.

BP's decisions throughout the drilling process qualified as "gross negligence" because they were "an extreme departure from the care required under the circumstances or a failure to exercise even a slight care." He also said BP's role involved "willful misconduct", adding to the penalties that, based on a maximum fine of $4,300 per barrel spilled, could result in a fine of up to US$18 billion (S$22.5 billion) under the Clean Water Act.

 
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