Ed. note: This is a new weekly column by Elie Mystal, Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline. This space will focus on the laws that exist, should exist, and should be put out of their misery. OVER-REGULATED Iranian Sanctions: You probably know that crude oil prices are ridiculously lower than they were a few… Keep reading →
This is the first installment in our Energy Executive Insight Series that gives executives at major energy companies an opportunity to share knowledge and experiences about the energy industry, their careers and their organizations. What has been the biggest positive energy industry change since the start of your career? Historically the oil and gas industry has… Keep reading →
BP is preparing for a legal decision in January regarding the company’s penalty under the Clean Water Act for oil spilled as a result of the Macondo well blowout and tragic Deepwater Horizon accident that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico 2010. BP is seeking to cap the amount of the civil penalty at $12.3… Keep reading →
Breaking Energy recently caught up with Dawn Constantin, Head of Partnerships & Analytics at BP North America Gas & Power, to find out about her role as an oil & gas trading strategist, and her career progression through such a fast-paced, high-intensity operation. BE: Can you describe your current role, responsibilities and what you’re currently… Keep reading →
An exciting new research initiative has amassed over 18 terabytes of data from more than 200 scientific studies covering Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. The program called the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) allows scientific researchers to share information and data through an easily accessible web-based platform. “We have research on… Keep reading →
Trial Judge Concludes The Deepwater Horizon Spill Caused By BP’s Gross Negligence And Willful MisconductBy Jeanne Grasso, John Kimball, Gregory Linsin, Jonathan Waldron, Alan Weigel | Blank Rome LLP
On September 4, 2014 the federal district judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill issued long-awaited rulings as to liability. The court concluded that BP is subject to enhanced civil penalties under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) because the discharge of oil was the result of the company’s “gross negligence” and “willful misconduct.”
Action Items: In light of this ruling, offshore leaseholders, operators, and contractors will likely be held to an increased standard of care because the severity of the potential harm from a well blowout, explosion, and oil spill is great. Accordingly, leaseholders, operators, and contractors in the offshore industries should review their safety and environmental compliance policies and procedures to ensure they meet or exceed the high standard of care that may be applied to complex, high-risk drilling operations.
Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2010, multidistrict litigation was consolidated in the district court in New Orleans, Louisiana. The current trial, which involves two key cases filed against BP and the other entities involved in the drilling of the Macondo well, is being heard by the court without a jury pursuant to the court’s admiralty jurisdiction.
The consolidated trial’s first phase in early 2013 was to determine the liability of BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and other companies, and to assess, for the purposes of penalty calculation, whether the companies acted with gross negligence and willful misconduct with respect to the loss of well control and the resulting explosion, fire, and sinking of the rig.
The trial’s second phase, which occurred during the fall of 2013, addressed the post-incident efforts to control the spill and the quantity of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. The judge has not yet issued a ruling with respect to the issues presented in the second phase. The third phase, which is scheduled to begin in January 2015, will focus on all other liability issues arising from the oil spill cleanup, including containment issues and the use of dispersants.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found BP was grossly negligent with regard to the accident and its activities in conjunction with the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. BP said it “strongly disagrees” with the finding and will immediately appeal. The number of barrels spilled remains in question and… Keep reading →
Energy News Roundup: EPA Pressured to Regulate Aircraft Emissions, BP Ruled Grossly Negligent and Saudi Oil Sales to US DownBy Jared Anderson
Citing pressure from stakeholders and legal proceedings, the EPA said Thursday it’s moving forward with an endangerment finding regarding aircraft emissions that account for an estimated 11% of US greenhouse gas emissions. Proving pollutants from aircraft engines are a danger to the public is the first step in crafting enforceable limits to regulate those emissions.… Keep reading →
Alaska and the oil companies developing the Prudhoe Bay and Point Thompson resources located on the remote North Slope are sitting on a lot of gas that can be used by Alaskan consumers and exported if the stakeholders can work through a maze of financial and technical considerations. With a cost estimated between $45 and… Keep reading →
With an almost eagle-eye-view of the Rocky Mountains from his office in Denver, Robert Attai advises clients on the emerging field of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones. A partner in the law firm of Husch Blackwell, his clients sometime seek advice after acquiring a smaller firm that is using UAS in their… Keep reading →