Anadarko avoids maximum penalty for Deepwater Horizon spill

Anadarko, an independent oil and gas company based in Texas, will pay $159 million for its involvement in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that happened in April, 2010, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This was revealed in a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on Monday.

While the Macondo well at the Gulf of Mexico area where the explosion and subsequent oil spill happened, was operated by BP, Anadarko was a partner in the project, which spurred the U.S. government to seek a civil penalty against Anadarko as well, under the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of “harmful” quantities of oil into or upon covered waters of the outer continental shelf, making any entity involved in such breaches subject to a civil penalty.

At the time of the incident, Anadarko owned 25 percent in the project, with MOEX held 10 percent and BP 65 percent. As the government settled its CWA claims with MOEX and Transocean and BP, only the Clean Water Act claim against Anadarko remained at issue.

Considering that it breached the Clean Water Act as it had an ownership in a field which spilled 3.19 million barrels of oil into the ocean, largest ever spill in the U.S., Anadarko was facing a maximum penalty of $3.5 billion.

The government had urged the court to impose a fine larger than $1 billion, but substantially less that the maximum of $3.5 billion.

The court ruled that Anadarko was not culpable for the discharge, as the company was a minority shareholder in the project operated by BP.

In its ruling, the Court determined that Anadarko should pay $50 per barrel spilled, or $159.million.

“Although this amount is high when viewed out of context, it is only 4.5% of the maximum penalty, and therefore on the low end of the spectrum. The Court finds that this amount strikes the appropriate balance between Anadarko’s lack of culpability and the extreme seriousness of this spill, considering the purposes of the CWA and § 1321(b)(7)’s civil penalty.”

The court also said that the reduced penalty reflected to some extent the fact that Anadarko has already paid $4 billion to BP to settle compensatory claims arising from the spill.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

Share this article

Follow Offshore Energy Today

Events>

<< Dec 2019 >>
MTWTFSS
25 26 27 28 29 30 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5

Africa Oil Week 2020

For over 25 years Africa Oil Week has been the meeting place for Africa’s most senior E&P stakeholders.

read more >

CERAWeek 2020

 Each year, CERA clients gathered for a few days in Houston…

read more >

Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2020

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) showcases leading-edge technology for offshore drilling, exploration…

read more >

2020 EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION STANDARDS CONFERENCE ON OILFIELD EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS

The development of consensus standards is one of API’s oldest and most successful programs.

read more >

Jobs>

Looking to fill a job opening?

By advertising your job here, on the homepage of OffshoreEnergyToday.com, you'll reach countless professionals in the sector. For more information, click below...

apply

Looking to fill a job opening?

By advertising your job here, on the homepage of OffshoreEnergyToday.com, you'll reach countless professionals in the sector. For more information, click below...

apply