EPA lifts post-Macondo contract suspension in agreement with BP

The US Environmental Protection Agency and BP PLC reached an agreement that will effectively end the bar on new federal contracts imposed on the multinational oil company in the wake of the 2010 Macondo deepwater well incident and crude oil spill.

The administrative agreement will be in place for 5 years, EPA said on Mar. 14. It suspended 25 BP entities and disqualified BP Exploration & Production Inc. from performing new federal contract work at its corporate facility in Houston in November 2012.

EPA made the move after BP pled guilty to criminal charges stemming from the well’s Apr. 20, 2010, blowout and explosion that claimed 11 lives, and the subsequent crude oil leak of an estimate 4.9 million bbl of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The suspension did not affect BP’s existing federal contracts, EPA noted. “This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we’ve outlined together,” said Craig Hooks, EPA’s assistant administrator for administration and resources management. “Many months of discussions and assessments have led up to this point, and I’m confident we’ve secured strong provisions to protect the integrity of federal procurement programs.”

In a separate statement, BP America Inc. Chairman and Pres. John Minge said, “After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable. Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”

Agreement’s terms

EPA said the agreement, which took effect immediately, requires BP to retain an independent auditor approved by the federal environmental regulatory agency which will conduct an annual review and report on BP’s compliance. There are also specific provisions addressing ethics compliance, corporate governance, and process safety, it added.

The agreement also gives EPA authority to take appropriate corrective action in the event the agreement is breached. The agency said it coordinated its negotiations with the US Department of the Interior, Defense Logistics Agency, and US Coast Guard.

BP said the agreement’s terms and conditions include those contained in the remedial order stemming from its 2012 plea agreement with the US Department of Justice and final judgment order with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It said it would dismiss a lawsuit it filed against EPA in federal court in Texas alleging improper statutory disqualification and suspension.

Not everyone welcomed news of the agreement. Tyson Slocum, who directs the energy program at the Washington-based Public Citizen advocacy group, said it “lets a corporate felon and repeat offender off the hook for its crimes against people and the environment,” adding, “This is a company that was on criminal probation at the time of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, and it has failed to prove that it is a responsible contractor deserving of lucrative taxpayer deals.”

Slocum said the agreement’s requirement that BP retain an independent auditor to ensure it complies as a responsible contract is inadequate protection for US taxpayers.

“While we applaud EPA for initiating the ban, it is premature to end it,” he maintained. “BP has failed to demonstrate that the corporate culture that allowed the Alaskan pipeline spill, the Texas City refinery explosion, the propane market manipulation and the Gulf Coast tragedy has changed.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

Keyera to take majority interest in Alberta gas plant

12/12/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

PBF Energy, PBF Logistics make management changes

12/12/2014 Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, current...

TAEP: TPI still peaking, but ‘contraction unavoidable’ as oil prices fall

12/12/2014 The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Ene...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price extends slump

12/12/2014 Crude oil prices extended their slump on the New York market with a Dec. 11 settlement of less than $60/bbl for January, and prices continued downw...

US needs more data before ending crude export ban, House panel told

12/11/2014 Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and...

BOEM raises offshore oil spill liability limit to $134 million

12/11/2014 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from ...

Rosneft, Essar sign terms of oil supply agreement

12/11/2014 OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


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