Category: Gulf oil spill

Feds will decide on five deep-water permits by mid-March

The Obama administration will comply with a federal judge’s ruling that it decide by mid-March whether to approve five deep-water drilling permits. But the Interior Department still plans to appeal the order, which it says chips away at its authority.  More »

Few takers on final offers to settle oil spill claims

in the last two weeks more than 8,100 people and businesses have been offered final payments from BP’s oil spill compensation fund, but Gulf Coast Claims Facility data show that only about 2.5 percent have accepted. Claimants have 90 days to accept or reject a final offer from the $20 billion fund.  More »

Judge orders Interior to act on 2 more permits

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman ruled earlier last month that the Interior Department must act within 30 days on five pending permit applications. Now Feldman says his ruling also applies to two applications submitted by ATP Oil & Gas Corp.  More »

Long offshore voyage ahead for drillers

As Loren Steffy notes, the approval Monday of the first deep-water project since the Macondo disaster is a milestone, not a finish line. It’s taken almost 11 months to approve a project that had already been approved before. How long it will take to approve a new endeavor, or “green field” project, in the Gulf remains an open question.  More »

BP, others ask judge to dismiss Gulf oil spill claims

Rig owner Transocean says many plaintiffs’ claims should be dismissed because they allegedly failed to follow the terms of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and filed suit before properly presenting their claims to BP.  More »

Gulf lawmakers say deep-water approval encouraging; more permits needed

Offshore drilling advocates in Congress and the industry aren’t exactly uncorking the champagne in response to the government’s decision to let deep-water drilling resume on a project halted by last year’s moratorium.  More »

Restoration official: BP reluctant to fix spill damage

The vice chairman of a task force set up by President Obama to restore the Gulf Coast criticized the oil giant for what he described as an increasing reluctance to repair damage done by last year’s massive oil spill.  More »

Transocean may recover sunken Deepwater Horizon from sea floor

The wreckage, about a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, was surveyed in response to a Dec. 6 request from the U.S. Coast Guard to remove diesel fuel that remains trapped in tanks aboard the rig, Transocean said today in a public filing.  More »

Spill response reviews may signal permits coming

Federal regulators’ visits to a pair of Houston sites where teams are developing new oil spill response systems could be a prelude to to permitting new deep-water drilling, according to companies that met with the officials. If their interpretation is accurate, the systems passed the test, and the Gulf of Mexico is one step closer to the first deep-water drilling allowed since last year’s Deepwater Horizon disaster.  More »

Feds’ findings on oil spill to be delayed again

A federal panel investigating the cause of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and massive Gulf oil spill won’t finish its final report by the one-year anniversary of the disaster as it had hoped.  More »

Feds ‘encouraged,’ industry expectant following Houston visits on Friday *Update*

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and ocean energy bureau head Michael Bromwich said they liked what they saw Friday at two Houston firms developing systems to contain subsea well blowouts. The new systems moved the industry closer to seeing new deep-water drilling permits, Bromwich said.  More »

If the BOP won’t stop the flow, then what’s it supposed to do?

Armchair drilling engineers might find it hard to swallow the notion that blowout preventers can’t actually stop blowouts once they’ve begun.  More »