Intercontinental Terminals Company may be fined for an oil spill at its Deer Park facility on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Currently, the United States Coast Guard is investigating the spill that occurred following a locomotive fuel tank was punctured and leaked an unspecified amount of diesel into a storm drain. It ultimately closed the Houston Ship Channel for nearly three hours. The extent of the spill is unknown, but an ITC representative indicated the company alerted the Coast Guard, who in turn deployed vacuum trucks, skimmers and a containment boom to isolate and clean up the spill. The Coast Guard will also continue to monitor the potential impact on the area and the recovery efforts.
The National Institutes of Health recently conducted a study entitled the Gulf Long-Term Follow-Up Study, in which it determined workers exposed to oil dispersants during the Deep Water Horizons cleanup are likely to experience respiratory issues and other health problems.
Oil giant British Petroleum (BP) has agreed to pay an additional $13 million to settle charges of failing to fix safety violations at its Texas City oil refinery after a 2005 explosion killed 15 workers. The settlement announced last month its latest move toward resolving hundreds of violations at the plant found by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). BP had already paid $50 million in 2010 to settle some of the OSHA violations. The government had been seeking a total of $80 million in penalties, the largest fine in its history.
According to a recent article in the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express, thousands of claimants damaged by the 2010 oil spill will have to decide soon whether to participate in a class action settlement without knowing what the offer will be. The Deepwater Horizon Claims Center was created by a federal judge overseeing the BP litigation. The purpose was apparently to coordinate claims under the settlement. As of last week, it was reported only 3,347 or 5% of the 60,000 businesses and individuals who filed claims have gotten settlement offers.
According to an article from the Dow Jones Newswires, Royal Dutch Shell PLC could face a record $5 billion fine from Nigerian authorities. The proposed fine follows an oil spill off the coast of Nigeria last year. Approximately 40,000 barrels of oil leaked at Shell's Bonga offshore facility. Shell is pushing back hard against the proposed fine saying it amounts to around $125,000 a barrel. In comparison to the fines BP could face in America from the Deepwater Horizon spill, the fine Shell is facing is nearly 100 times greater/barrel spilled.
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.