BP Asks For Lower Fine In Penalty Phase Of Gulf Spill Trial

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Reuters

NEW ORLEANS, Jan 20 (Reuters) - BP Plc, citing low oil prices, tried to whittle away at $13.7 billion in potential fines under the Clean Water Act on Tuesday as the penalty phase started in its trial over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP said its fine should be modest as it took extensive steps to mitigate the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history and that the defendant named in the case, BP's exploration and production unit, known as BPXP, cannot afford a big penalty.

"There has been no collapse of the ecosystem," BP lawyer Mike Brock said in opening statements, contending that the Gulf has been more resilient than thought. Environmental groups say it could take decades for the Gulf to recover.

Brock said the penalties should take into account BPXP's ability to pay, and not be tied to the balance sheet of its parent company.

He said a 60 percent drop in oil prices since June has slashed BPXP's value to about $5.1 billion, down from $16 billion just months ago.

The government knows that "BPXP cannot afford a penalty in the range that they are asking for, and so that's why they are saying look to the parent," Brock said.

Steve O'Rourke, the government's lawyer, said BPXP and BP are effectively the same company. He urged a fine of $11.7 to $13.7 billion.


123

View Full Article

Copyright 2017 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Click on the button below to add a comment.
Post a Comment
Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Related Companies
Events  SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Our Privacy Pledge
SUBSCRIBE

Deepwater Horizon Images
Support Vessels Spray Horizon (Apr 21) Deepwater Horizon in Flames (Apr 20) Macondo Oil Slick (May 4) Macondo Oil Slick (Apr 25)
Crewmen guide a cofferdam onto the deck Diagram of Deepwater Horizon Resting Pla Deepwater Horizon Deck Burning (Apr 22) Satellite view of Horizon Fire (Apr 21)
71 more images view image library


From the Career Center
Jobs that may interest you
Project Procurement & Contracts Advisor (Subsea Equipment)
Expertise: Contracts Engineer|Purchasing|Subsea Engineering
Location: Houston, TX
 
Category Specialist - Information Technology
Expertise: Supply Chain Management
Location: Houston, TX
 
Contracts Coordinator
Expertise: Contracts Administration
Location: Hanover, MD
 
search for more jobs

Brent Crude Oil : $55.47/BBL 0.69%
Light Crude Oil : $52.48/BBL 0.30%
Natural Gas : $3.41/MMBtu 0.29%
Updated in last 24 hours