The deadline for lawyers on both sides of a proposed settlement designed to resolve billions of dollars in economic damage claims arising out of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been extended by Federal Judge Carl Barbier. BP and lawyers representing the victims of the oil spill (estimated to be over 100,000 individuals and businesses) were to have submitted the formal terms of the settlement to the US District Judge sitting in New Orleans. But the parties requested additional time and Judge Barbier extended the deadline to Wednesday morning so the parties could finish compiling supporting documentation and exhibits.
According the Associated Press, Anadarko Petroleum Co. has agreed to pay $4 billion to BP as part of a settlement related to last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP is using this agreement to support their contention that it was not solely responsible for the disaster. BP said Monday that Anadarko's payment will form part of the British company's $20 billion trust fund, which has paid out $7 billion so far to settle claims from individuals and businesses. Eleven workers were killed when the Deepwater Horizon rig at the Macondo well exploded off Louisiana on April 20, 2010, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an oil-field related incident, contact our firm for a free consultation
As I was driving home from work last night I heard a commercial on the radio that caught my attention. The commercial was narrated by a man that runs a business on the beach in Destin, Florida. That narrator, Rick Scali, is in the business of renting beach and vacation equipment to tourists. According to the commercial, all is well, the beach is clean, the oil is gone, and BP "is doing the best they can in a very difficult situation." While I disagree with Mr. Scali, I am happy that the claims process went well for him and his family. I am not happy that BP (British Petroleum) continues to spend money on advertising campaigns rather than take that same money and use it to compensate those that have lost everything due to BP's callous regard for safety, human life, and the gulf coast. If BP is truly doing the best it can, then why is it spending money patting itself on the back through these ads?
The smell of rotten eggs descended on Texas City, Texas, after an equipment failure at BP's Texas City refinery on Monday, November 15.
According to many experts in the oil and gas industry, the industry has not yet incorporated many of the lessons learned from the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster. According to government officials, industry veterans, and environmental experts, the industry needs better technology and better testing procedures to prevent blowouts from happening at all. Additionally, the same experts are noting that the industry clearly does not currently have the technology to deal with a blowout after it happens.
Two workers were burned by steam while working at BP's Texas City refinery on September 21. One worker suffered burns over 30 percent of his body, including injuries to his torso, left arm, and left leg and was taken by LifeFlight to UTMB Hospital's Burn Unit. The other worker was transported by ambulance to Mainland Medical Center. BP's Texas City refinery, the nation's third largest refinery, is the site of the worst U.S. refinery accident in the past five years when 15 workers were killed and 180 injured in an explosion on March 23, 2005. BP has paid over $1.6 billion to compensate victims of this tragedy. It is also the site where benzene was released for 40-days due to a unit malfunction earlier this year, which currently is the focus of a class-action lawsuit.
The entire world is still watching the unprecedented oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster is still mounting. Most of the blame for the disaster in the gulf is being placed on British Petroleum (BP). Meanwhile, in Texas City, BP's refinery released hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals, including the carcinogen Benzene. Rather than shutting down the refinery to make repairs, BP tried to divert the gases to have them burned off. This decision allowed at least 538,000 pounds of toxic chemicals to pour from the Texas City factory in April, May and June of this year.
In the ongoing saga that is now being touted as the worst environmental disaster in human history, we have more disturbing news. A confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon, which was conducted weeks prior to the oil rig explosion, showed that many of them were worried about the safety practices on the rig and feared retaliation if they reported mistakes or safety concerns. Transocean, the rig's owner, conducted this survey and the results are disturbing.
A few days ago, the President delivered good news. The cap is on, and early tests show that oil is being contained as efforts to permanently plug the well continue. The President also delivered words of caution; "...I don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves."
On Monday, July 5, 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that tar balls from the Deepwater Horizon disaster are washing up on Texas shores. On Tuesday, July 6, 2010, Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, issued a request for BP (British Petroleum) to provide Texas with $25 million for the clean-up efforts. According to Abbott, "While we do not yet know, and cannot yet calculate, the ultimate damage this ecological and economic disaster will inflict upon the State of Texas, we do know that BP will be held fully financially accountable for the costs incurred by the taxpayers when state and local governments engage in clean-up and response efforts." This is good news for Texans; we should not have to pay to clean up BP's mess.