Andarko Must Face Fines For U.S. Gulf Oil Spill: Court
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[June 05, 2014]
By Jessica Dye
(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on
Wednesday said BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp must face penalties
under federal pollution laws in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico
oil spill, which could expose the companies to billions of dollars in
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a 2012 decision
from U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans that the
companies could be held liable for civil penalties under the Clean
BP and Anadarko owned a respective 65 percent and 25 percent of the
Macondo well that was drilled by Deepwater Horizon, which blew out
in 2010 and resulted in a massive oil spill.
The companies had appealed Barbierís ruling, arguing in part that
they should not be responsible for oil spilled as a result of failed
equipment on the drilling rig, which was owned by Transocean Ltd.
But as co-owners of the well, BP and Anadarko would be on the hook
for resulting fines, the appeals court ruled.
A spokeswoman for BP declined to comment. Representatives for
Anadarko could not immediately be reached for comment after regular
business hours Wednesday.
Transocean agreed last year to pay the U.S. government $1 billion in
civil penalties over the spill.
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The Clean Water Act lets the government seek fines of up to $1,100
per barrel of oil spilled, or $4,300 per barrel if gross negligence
or willful misconduct is found.
The case is In re: Deepwater Horizon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the
5th Circuit, No. 12-30883.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York; Editing by Ken Wills)
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