20 Stories

BP Faces $52B in Gulf Spill Fines

With trial to begin tomorrow, lawyers negotiating furiously

(Newser) - With the trials set to begin tomorrow for BP and the other companies involved in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP alone could conceivably face up to $52 billion in fines and compensation, reports the AP . Under the Clean Water Act, which requires a minimum of $1,100... More »

Coast Guard Slams Transocean in Gulf Report

Shoddy equipment, poor safety training to blame in BP oil spill: probe

(Newser) - A wide array of Transocean safety failings were to blame in the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year, a Coast Guard report says. The official probe “revealed numerous systems deficiencies, and acts and omissions by Transocean and its Deepwater Horizon crew” that hampered “the ability to prevent or limit... More »

Transocean: So Sorry for Calling 2010 'Best Year' Ever

Comment 'may have been insensitive' ... you think?

(Newser) - How to win a King-of-No-Tact award, in three easy steps! Step one: Dish out meaty bonuses to your company's top execs. Step two: Base said bonuses, in part, on the fact that 2010 was your "best year" ever in terms of safety—the pesky Gulf oil spill and 11... More »

Transocean Execs Land Fat Safety Bonuses

Company had 'best year in safety performance'

(Newser) - That minor explosion that killed 11 people and dumped 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico aside, it seems Transocean had a banner year in terms of safety. And to celebrate the "best year in safety performance in our company's history"—despite noting the "... More »

US Greenlights Gulf's 1st Deepwater Well Since Spill

Feds under pressure to drill as oil prices skyrocket

(Newser) - With oil prices again spiking above $100 a barrel, the US issued its first deepwater drilling permit in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon made ocean-disaster history in the region. Noble Energy got the go-ahead to continue work on its Santiago well, which it had begun drilling just... More »

Gulf Disaster 'Might Well Recur,' Commission Finds

'Absent significant reform,' welcome to Macondo II

(Newser) - The management blunders that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion aren’t particularly uncommon in the oil industry, a presidential commission investigating the spill has concluded, meaning there’s every chance it could happen again. The commission blamed all three companies involved in the well—BP, TransOcean, and Halliburton—saying... More »

Deepwater Crew Swallowed by Fire When All Safeties Failed

Deepwater Horizon should have been able to contain blowout, says NYT report

(Newser) - Workers on the exploding Deepwater Horizon were cut down by shrapnel, slammed into walls, and swallowed by fireballs, according to a hellish account of the last minutes of the doomed oil rig in the New York Times today. "Dazed and battered survivors, half-naked and dripping in highly combustible gas,... More »

BP Report: Everybody Screwed Up

Inquiry concludes spill was result of interwoven mistakes

(Newser) - BP has published its own report on what went wrong on its doomed Macondo well, and predictably, the blame gets spread around among "multiple companies and work teams." While admitting BP workers misread pressure readings, the oil giant points its finger squarely at TransOcean's rig crew and Halliburton's... More »

BP Report: We Messed Up

Investigation faults engineers for spill

(Newser) - An internal investigation by the folks at BP confirms what we all suspected: BP messed up. The in-house report says that the company's engineers made mistakes while finishing the oil well and also misread pressure data that warned of a blowout, reports Bloomberg . It is therefore in part responsible for... More »

BP Skipped Certification of Blowout Preventer

They also changed safety test at last minute

(Newser) - Yet more details are emerging on the missteps that may have led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Among them: The all-important blowout preventer wasn’t recertified in 2005, as required by federal regulations, one worker responsible for maintaining the equipment told investigators yesterday. Transocean tells the AP that the blowout... More »

FBI Investigates BP's Ties to Regulators

Criminal probe to target Transocean, Halliburton as well

(Newser) - A team of federal investigators is gathering in New Orleans to determine, among other things, whether BP was criminally cozy with federal regulators, and whether that helped cause the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The wide-ranging criminal probe will also focus on TransOcean and Halliburton, the Washington Post reports, but there’s... More »

Key Alarm Was Disabled on Oil Rig: Worker

Deepwater Horizon also had previously shutdown problems

(Newser) - As deadly pockets of oil and gas raced up the Deepwater Horizon's pipes on April 20, a key emergency alarm sat intentionally disabled and silent —giving workers no warning of the impending disaster until the oil rig blew sky high, according to testimony by an engineer. When he discovered... More »

Deepwater Horizon Owner Slams Drilling Ban

Industry could get back to work tomorrow, says Transocean boss

(Newser) - The owner of the busted rig spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico is itching to get back to work. Transocean chief Steven Newman slammed the Obama administration's 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling at an oil conference today, the AP reports. There are things the administration "could implement today... More »

BP, Transocean Hire Swarm of Lobbyists

...who swear they're just 'trying to give information to people'

(Newser) - The oil gushing into the Gulf has been black gold for one someone: the lobbyist. BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and many, many other small and large industry players affected by the spill have hired a bevy of lobbyists from both sides of the aisle, reports the Washington Post , which offers an... More »

BP Rig Registered With Tiny Pacific Nation to Skirt US Oversight

Classified a ship, Deepwater Horizon evaded stiffer US safety standards

(Newser) - Turns out it wasn’t America’s job to inspect or set safety standards for the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig. That responsibility fell to the Marshall Islands—a tiny, impoverished cluster of atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Why? Because oil rigs are classified as ships, the Los Angeles Times explains,... More »

BP Cut Corners on Well Casing

Went with riskier option because it was cheaper

(Newser) - First rule of business, kids: cut costs where you can. For example, if you can buy a cheaper cement for the casing pipe in your oil well, and the only risk is that it might fail to seal, let gas leak in, and lead to a massive explosion, you should... More »

Oil Rig Workers Blew Past Red Flags

Equipment showed danger of blowout, but they kept working

(Newser) - Just two hours before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, a major test revealed a “very large abnormality” in the well, but workers simply ignored it and kept working, BP revealed in a report to Congress yesterday. Previously, BP had said the test was inconclusive, the Wall Street Journal notes, but... More »

Oil Execs' Refrain: Don't Blame Me, Blame Him

BP, Transocean, Halliburton CEOs testify in DC

(Newser) - As expected , the leaders of the oil and oil service companies involved with the Gulf oil spill attempted to shift blame onto one another at a Senate hearing today. Executives from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton each blamed the other companies' work for the blowout, the Washington Post reports. BP's... More »

Oil Firms Blame Each Other for Spill

3 to point fingers in Senate testimony today

(Newser) - Execs from three firms involved in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill will blame each other for the disaster when they face a Senate hearing today. In prepared testimony reviewed by the Wall Street Journal , the chairman of well owner BP points the finger at rig owner and operator... More »

Palin: Don't Trust Foreign Oil Companies

Like that no-good BP, which used to employ Todd Palin

(Newser) - Sarah Palin is fired up about the Gulf Coast oil spill, and she's taking away a powerful lesson: Don't trust foreigners, like those tea-sippers over at British Petroleum. “Gulf: Learn from Alaska's lesson w/foreign oil co's: don't naively trust—VERIFY,” she wrote on Twitter . That sounds great and... More »

20 Stories