Processing Magazine

BP, Anadarko liable for Gulf oil spill damages, judge rules

February 23, 2012

NEW ORLEANS — A U.S. district judge ruled Wednesday that BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. are liable for Clean Water Act violations in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Bloomberg reported.

The ruling allows the U.S. government to seek fines of as much as $1,100 per barrel of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico without having to prove the issue of liability at trial.

However, Transocean Ltd., the Switzerland-based owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded, can’t be held liable for Clean Water Act violations yet, the judge ruled.

“This decision states clearly that BP is the responsible party and reaffirms the long-standing legal, regulatory and economic framework that has been employed by parties in the offshore oil and gas industry for decades,” Lou Colasuonno, a Transocean spokesman, said. “It is a vital win for Transocean.”