On Nov. 30, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation was ordered to pay $159.5 million in environmental penalties due to the 2010 BP oil spill. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation owned 25 percent of the Deepwater Horizon oil drill rig, which exploded, killing 11 workers and causing the largest offshore oil spill in United States history.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ordered Anadarko to pay a civil fine of $159.5 million for their role in the Anadarko BP oil spill. This amount is reflective of the company’s ownership stake in the Deepwater Horizon rig, located in the Macondo Prospect, which exploded causing a massive oil spill in April of 2010.
Under the Clean Water Act, Barbier could have issued penalties of up to $3.51 billion; the U.S. government was seeking a penalty ruling of more than $1 billion. Anadarko’s $159.5 million penalty comes out to $50 per barrel of oil which was spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.
In his decision, Barbier also stated that Anadarko was not an at-fault party in the oil spill. BP, the majority owner of the well, reached a settlement with five Gulf states as well as the U.S. government, totaling $20.8 billion. Anadarko agreed to help BP pay for cleanup costs and victim claims in 2011, offering $4 billion.
Anadarko has issued a statement expressing pleasure that the penalty ordered was much less than the $1 billion sought by U.S. prosecutors in the matter.
Anadarko representatives also stated that the ruling affirms the position they have held, that as a non-operating owner of the well, the company had no role in the spill taking place.
The company said they may appeal the ruling, as it is not the intention of the Clean Water Act to penalize a non-operating party for a spill which was beyond that party’s control.
The personal injury attorneys of Simien & Simien are committed to holding companies accountable for the environmental damage they cause. If you have suffered economic or health damages as a result of an oil spill, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.