BP barred from winning US contracts

2012-11-29 09:09
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Renewable Energy
    New, thoroughly updated fourth edition of the authoritative field guide to the entire Renewable... Now R1,350.00
    buy now
New Orleans - Two BP supervisors pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to manslaughter charges in the 2010 oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, as the British energy giant was barred from winning US government contracts.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it had temporarily banned BP from obtaining new contracts - which include exploration or drilling leases on government land - until it can prove it meets US government business standards.

"EPA is taking this action due to BP's lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response," the agency said in a statement.

The decision came two weeks after BP reached a $4.5bn settlement with the US Justice Department and agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, one count of felony obstruction of Congress and two criminal environmental violations.

The 20 April 2010 blowout killed 11 people and sank the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, unleashing the worst environmental disaster in US history.

It took 87 days to cap the runaway well, which spewed some 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and blackened beaches in five states.

Spreading the blame

Defence attorneys said Robert Kaluza, aged 62, and Donald Vidrine, aged 65 - the highest-ranking BP supervisors onboard the rig - are being unfairly targeted.

A presidential commission tasked with investigating the environmental catastrophe spread the blame for the deadly blast, citing BP and its subcontractors for shoddy work, poor management and risky shortcuts.

"The problem with this is that Congress and others demand human flesh to pay for terrible casualties like this," Kaluza's lawyer, Bob Habans, told reporters on the courthouse steps.

"This time they chose Donald Vidrine and Bob Kaluza as the scapegoats for this prosecution."

Prosecutors said the on-site managers - who ignored "glaring red flags that the well was not secure" and failed to take "appropriate action" to prevent the blowout - should pay for their negligent actions.

Kaluza and Vidrine, who both pleaded not guilty in the New Orleans court on Wednesday, face up to 10 years in prison on each of 11 counts of seaman's manslaughter and eight years in prison on each of 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Existing contracts unaffected

Meanwhile, former senior BP executive David Rainey pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice charges for allegedly lying about how much oil was gushing out of the runaway well. He faces five years in prison if convicted.

The EPA said the ban on BP and its affiliates from receiving federal contracts will continue "until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards."

The order does not affect existing contracts.

It came hours before the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced the sale of exploration rights to 20 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico. BP did not bid for any of the leases. The next sale is scheduled for March.

BP said in a statement that it hopes to have the ban lifted as quickly as possible and has been working with the EPA to prove it can meet federal standards.

"As BP's submissions to the EPA have made clear, the company has made significant enhancements since the accident," BP said.

Far from over

"In the two-and-a-half years since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the US government has granted BP more than 50 new leases in the Gulf of Mexico, where the company has been drilling safely since the government moratorium was lifted," it added.

However, BP's legal woes are far from over. It must still resolve a civil case on environmental fines that could amount to as much as $18bn if gross negligence is found. It also remains on the hook for economic damages, including the cost of environmental rehabilitation.

Earlier this year, BP reached an agreement to settle claims from fishermen and others affected by the disaster for $7.8bn, but it must be approved by a federal judge.

BP has signalled it will continue to aggressively pursue damages from rig operator Transocean and well operations subcontractor Halliburton, which BP blames for faulty work leading up to the blowout.

Read more on:    bp  |  us  |  environment  |  us oil slick
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Kuils River 17:58 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Macassar 17:57 PM
Road name: N2 Outbound

ACCIDENT in the right lane after the Engen One-Stop garage - DELAYS from Spine Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.