Judge calls for BP to indemnify Transocean in 2010 gulf oil spill

BP PLC is required to indemnify drilling contractor Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig, against compensatory damages in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill off Louisiana in 2010, according to US District Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans.

BP was operator of the deepwater Macondo well. An Apr. 20, 2010, blowout resulted in an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig. Eleven workers were killed, the semi later sank, and the incident caused a massive oil spill.

Barbier on Jan. 26 granted Transocean partial indemnification in Transocean’s request for a summary judgment (OGJ Online, Nov. 1, 2011).

Transocean said the ruling confirms BP is responsible for economic damages caused by the oil spill.

BP also issued a statement, indicating that it considers the ruling a partial victory for BP. “Under the decision, Transocean is, at a minimum, financially responsible for any punitive damages, fines, and penalties flowing from its own conduct,” BP said. “As we have said from the beginning, Transocean cannot avoid its responsibility for this accident.”

The drilling contractor remains exposed to punitive damages and Clean Water Act fines, analysts noted.

James C. West, an analyst with Barclays Capital in New York, called the ruling a good sign for Transocean.

“We believe the headline is positive and improves Transocean's footing in regards to a settlement with BP,” West said.

Transocean said it was pleased to see its drilling contract indemnification affirmed. Under the contract, BP had responsibility for any pollution from the well.

“This confirms that BP is responsible for all economic damages caused by the oil that leaked from its Macondo well, and discredits BP’s ongoing attempts to evade both its contractual and financial obligations,” Transocean said.

Federal investigators have blamed the incident on multiple causes, saying BP, Transocean, and Halliburton Co. all had some role in the incident although BP bears final responsibility for the spill. Halliburton handled the cementing work on the well.

The National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council said in its final report on the incident that both the industry and regulators misplaced confidence in the ability of blowout preventers (BOPs) to act as fail-safe mechanisms (OGJ Online, Dec. 15, 2011).

A civil trial is scheduled to start in New Orleans on Feb. 27. BP’s attorneys are talking with multiple parties in an effort to reach settlements that would resolve as many issues as possible before that. The companies have countersued each other.

Previously, Cameron International Corp., which manufactured the BOP used on the Deepwater Horizon, agreed to pay a $250 million settlement to BP, and BP agreed to indemnify Cameron for current and future compensatory claims associated with an oil spill (OGJ Online, Dec, 16, 2011).

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

BHI: US rig count down 87 units in 10th straight week of losses

02/06/2015 The US drilling rig count plunged 87 units, a decline that was again spurred mostly by oil rigs, to settle at 1,456 rigs working during the week en...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

North Reggane gas project development drilling starts in Algeria

02/05/2015

The North Reggane consortium has started development drilling at its gas project in the Algerian Sahara.

Oil production begins at Nasr Phase-1 offshore Abu Dhabi

02/05/2015 The first phase of Nasr oil field offshore Abu Dhabi will be producing 22,000 b/d by yearend, according to United Arab Emirates news agency WAM.

Woodside lets FEED contract for Greater Western Flank project

02/05/2015 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has let a contract to Wood Group Kenny for the front-end engineering and design for the flowline system and associated proc...

Deloitte studies oil supply growth for 2015-16

02/04/2015 A Deloitte MarketPoint analysis suggested large-field projects, each producing more than 25,000 b/d, could bring on 1.835 million b/d in oil supply...

Inpex starts development drilling at Ichthys field

02/04/2015

Inpex Corp. has started development drilling in Ichthys gas-condensate field in the Browse basin, about 200 km offshore Western Australia.

BG’s 2015 budget ‘significantly lower than 2014’

02/03/2015 BG Group plans capital expenditures on a cash basis of $6-7 billion in 2015, a range it says is “significantly lower than 2014” due to “a lower oil...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected