Mitsui to pay record fine for Gulf oil spill

2012-02-18 10:00
Washington - Japanese conglomerate Mitsui will pay $90m for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst oil spill in US history, authorities said Friday.

Mitsui will pay $70m in civil fines, the largest penalty to date under the Clean Water Act, to resolve alleged violations of the law, the justice department said in a statement.

It has also agreed to spend $20m for Gulf conservation projects, including land purchases in several states on the Gulf coast.

The settlement will be paid by a subsidiary of Mitsui, Moex Offshore, which teamed up in 2007 with British giant BP in a Gulf of Mexico exploration project that produced the massive oil spill.

Moex had a 10% stake in the Macondo Well, which blew out on April 20 2010, spewing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. It no longer owns any share of the lease, the statement said.

An explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers, blackened beaches in five US states and devastated the Gulf Coast's tourism and fishing industries.

"This landmark settlement is an important step - but only a first step - toward achieving accountability and protecting the future of the Gulf ecosystem by funding critical habitat preservation projects," US Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement.

The officials said the settlement did not affect the government's claims against any other defendant in the Deepwater Horizon lawsuit that was filed on December 15 2010.

Tens of billions of dollars will be at stake in the trial of the first phase of the case, set to begin on February 27 in federal district court in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The federal judge is due to determine whether the deadly missteps constitute gross negligence, how much of the blame rests with each party and whether punitive damages should be imposed.

BP has said it is working to reach a settlement with the US government over a host of civil fines and possible criminal charges.

The British oil giant already has paid more than $6bn to over 220 000 claimants who chose to settle with a special fund set up to provide emergency payments and a faster route to reimbursement.

The massive clean up and containment effort has cost BP $13.6bn.

Read more on:    us  |  japan  |  us oil slick  |  pollution  |  environment

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.