Judge bars Anadarko e-mails as evidence in Macondo blowout hearing

A federal district judge in New Orleans refused to accept e-mails between Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and BP PLC as evidence in a hearing to determine liability of companies involved in drilling the ill-fated Macondo deepwater well in 2010.

The Houston independent producer, which held a 25% interest in the well that BP operated, has maintained that it was a passive investor who was not involved in day-to-day decisions involving the project.

A fire and explosion after the well blew out on Apr. 20, 2010, killed 11 people and destroyed the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig. As the rig sank, it triggered a leak that spilled more than 4 million bbl of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico that took months to contain and cap.

Judge Carl J. Barbier, who previously ruled that Anadarko was not negligent in the accident, told the US Department of Justice it could not use the e-mails to make the upstream independent face hefty penalties for the accident and spill.

“I don’t think this argument is going to get you anywhere,” said Barbier of US District Court for Eastern Louisiana. “It’s pretty clear to me, once I ruled that Anadarko had no legal duty to intervene in the well and could not be negligent.”

The court held the hearing to consider evidentiary and discovery issues as companies involved in the accident and spill prepare for the federal trial’s Clean Water Act penalty phase.

Reacting to Barbier’s latest ruling, Anadarko Chief Executive Officer Al Walker said it was consistent with previous court determinations that the company was not at fault for the accident and spill. “We look forward to seeing the [CWA] portion of the trial resolved soon.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

IAGC appoints new president

09/19/2014 The board of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors has reported that Ken Wells has been named as the organization’s president.

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures down more than $1 in New York, London

09/19/2014 The New York Mercantile Exchange October crude oil contract lost $1.35 to $93.07/bbl on Sept. 18. The November contract declined $1.22 to $91.98/bbl.

ExxonMobil ‘winding down’ Arctic well, complying with US, EU sanctions on Russia

09/19/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. released a statement that the company is complying with all US sanctions on Russia after news reports that the operator had halted...

ExxonMobil, Linn to make second asset exchange this year

09/19/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. has agreed to trade interest in 500 net acres from South Belridge field near Bakersfield, Calif., to Linn Energy LLC, Houston, in ...

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