By Erika Bolstad and Renee Schoof | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — BP and other companies not only ignored important safety and operating regulations, the Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, but it also failed to take necessary precautions to keep its Gulf of Mexico well under control before the April 20 blowout that killed 11 people.
While the full scope of the disaster isn’t yet known, the Justice Department wrote in its suit, “the consequences include lost lives, destroyed livelihoods, and grave harm to natural resources across several states and related waters.”
The lawsuit, the first phase in punishing the parties responsible for the spill, could wrest billions of dollars in civil penalties from nine companies the Justice Department blames, including BP, for allowing an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil to gush into the Gulf of Mexico over three months. Because each barrel spilled carries a fine of as much as $4,300, those flow-rate estimates — derived by a government team and already disputed by BP — will be at the heart of the multi-billion dollar case.
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday November 27, @09:09AM
from the show-of-hands-who-is-surprised dept.
DMandPenfold writes “BP ignored the advice of safety modeling software in an attempt to save time before the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to a presentation slide (PDF) prepared by US investigators. The slide in question briefly appeared on the Oil Spill Commission’s website in error, but was quickly retracted. Advanced cement modeling software, provided by BP’s cement contractor Halliburton, had highlighted serious stability concerns with the well.”