Last week, a Shell oil facility leaked nearly 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to federal authorities. The spill has left a two-mile by thirteen-mile sheen in the Gulf, approximately 165 miles southwest of New Orleans. The spill was first noticed near Shell's Brutus platform on Thursday morning.
On May 15, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion regarding the validity of a settlement agreement between BP and a man who sustained injuries as a result of the blast that caused Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. BP had appealed the District Court's decision finding that the agreement was valid.
The Associated Press reported today that the Supreme Court of the United States is leaving in place BP's multibillion-dollar settlement with lawyers for businesses and residents over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - dealing another blow to BP's efforts to derail the settlement BP originally signed off on. Consumer lawyers throughout the country hailed the Court's decision as a victory for those adversely affected by the gigantic oil spill.
The recent spill of 168,000 gallons of heavy oil into the Houston Ship Channel creates immediate and obvious environmental concerns. In addition, it has disrupted shipping for several days, with the channel only now being partially reopened.
A weekend oil spill in the Houston Shipping Channel left one of "the nation's busiest seaports" closed for at least part of the day today. The spill was caused by the collision of a ship with a barge and dumped as much as 168,000 gallons of oil into the water. The capacity of the barge, the Summer Wind, was close to 900,000 gallons; only about a fifth of the barge's oil cargo was spilled into the water after the wreck.
Around 12:35 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2014, the watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston received a call from the captain of the 585-foot bulk carrier Summer Wind who reported a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of oil had collided with a ship. The barge contained 924,000 gallons of fuel oil and was towed by the motor vessel Miss Susan.
According to the Associated Press, a former Halliburton manager pleaded guilty to destroying evidence following the deadly Deep Water Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Anthony Badalamenti, 62, of Katy, Texas, faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine after his guilty plea in U.S. District Court. His sentencing by U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey is set for Jan. 21. Badalamenti was the cementing technology director for Halliburton. Prosecutors said he instructed two Halliburton employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out Macondo well.
According to a recent story by Bloomberg, naturally occurring radiation brought to the surface by gas drillers has been detected in a Pennsylvania creek that flows into the Allegheny River. Sediment in Blacklick Creek contained radium in concentrations 200 times above normal according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The radium, along with salts such as bromide, came from the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh.
According to the Houston Chronicle, after 2 1/2 years since the deep-water Macondo well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico, oil giant BP faced a U.S. judge Tuesday as it answered to manslaughter and other criminal charges. At a brief arraignment hearing before a federal judge, BP lawyer Mark Filip said the company's board had authorized him to enter a not guilty plea as a procedural matter, but the firm still intends to plead guilty at a later date. BP has agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle the criminal charges and related Securities and Exchange Commission charges.
According to a recent article on fuelfix.com, BP has agreed to pay over $4 billion to the U.S. government to resolve all criminal claims stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and oil spill. It is by far the largest criminal penalty in American history. Additionally, at least three BP workers were expected to face criminal charges in connection with the disaster and its aftermath. A criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department singled out two BP well-site leaders for the failure of a pressure test on BP's blown-out well, and a BP executive for providing government officials with flow estimates that were lower than what the company actually knew at the time. The complaint itself charged BP with seaman's manslaughter and other counts, but did not specify charges against individuals.