The measure codifies many of the steps that companies have already taken to better keep offshore wells in check, including more rigorous maintenance and testing of the blowout preventers that act as a last line of defense against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas.
The Obama administration is poised to lay out new requirements for controlling offshore wells, nearly five years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill vividly illustrated the damage that can be unleashed when they are not kept in check.
“There is no dispute that BP lied,” about how much oil flowed from the Macondo well during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said, but that didn’t factor in to the effort to stop the blowout.
BP wants a federal judge to cap its potential oil-spill pollution fines at a maximum of $12.3 billion, a move that would cut away nearly a third of the penalties U.S. prosecutors are seeking for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
A federal judge’s ruling that BP was reckless in the lead up to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill hinged on the company’s decisions to drill deeper than was deemed safe and skip or misread well integrity tests, among other factors “motivated by profit.”
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