Articles Posted in Oil Rig

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Rescue efforts for the crewmembers of the Russian oil rig that collapsed last week continue, but hopes for survivors of the disaster are quickly fading.  Russian authorities have added more aircraft to search efforts to look for survivors from the rig that collapsed in icy waters.

The loss occurred when the drilling jackup rig Kolskaya with more than 67 crewmembers onboard, capsized and sank off the island of Sakhalin. The collapse occurred in the icy waters of the Sea of Okhotsk, and 14 workers have been rescued. According to reports, the oil rig flipped over, and quickly sank in about 20 minutes. At the time of the sinking, the depth of the water at the scene was about 3,400 feet. The rig was being towed in stormy weather with swells of up to 6 m. So far, 16 bodies have been recovered.
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U.S. District Judge Barbier has ruled that BP must face claims under general maritime law, not under state law, in suits brought by Louisiana and Alabama due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill brought on by the Deepwater Horizon disaster on April 20, 2010.

Barbier said that States can sue for negligence and product liability and are eligible for punitive damages, but dismissed claims brought under state environmental laws, including demands for civil penalties, finding they were preempted by federal law governing the Outer Continental Shelf.
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U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Tuesday, Nov 15, that BP can not use Transocean’s insurance to pay costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of April 2010 – stating that the carriers owe no duty to pay claims or defense costs to BP.

BP filed claims with Transocean’s carriers last year that sought access to $750 million. Lloyd’s of London, along with other excess underwriters, and Ranger Insurance, Transocean’s primary insurer, opposed the claims, contending the rig owner’s contract with BP didn’t provide such coverage.

“The court finds that BP, under the drilling contract, assumed responsibility for Macondo well oil release pollution liabilities. Because Transocean did not assume these liabilities, there is no additional insurance obligation in favor of BP for these liabilities.”
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BP will to pay the State of Texas $50 million for air pollution violations at the site of an explosion in 2005 that killed 15 people. The settlement does not resolve lawsuits or investigations by other agencies, or any future problems at the refinery says Matthew Tejada, executive director of the Houston Air Alliance.

Tejada said it took Texas too long – more than six years – to resolve the violations, which he called an “indictment of the entire environmental enforcement system in the state. “The state of Texas wasn’t the one that suffered from all this pollution. It was the people of Texas City,” he said.
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The federal administration has approved more than 97% of the offshore oil and gas drilling lease-extension requests that it has received.

According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, it has approved 1381 out of the 1413 applications for lease extension. The extensions have been granted to compensate for the delays that these drilling companies have suffered after the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico last year.
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Crew were evacuated from the oil-rig Ocean Guardian off the Falkland Islands after the rig suffered a power failure. The rig is owned by Diamond Offshore Drilling UK.

The power failure occurred while the rig was being moved to a new location.  The crew members had finished the successful abandonment of the well in the Falklands Basin when there was a loss of power and the rig had to be evacuated by helicopter to shore.
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According to The Huffington Post, a year and a half after the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill that spewed over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration is set to allow BP to resume exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico without any changes to the laws that hold companies responsible for the economic damages that such spills cause,

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced on Friday, Oct 21, that BP could proceed with plans to drill four exploratory wells roughly 200 miles from the Louisiana coast.
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The Huffington Post reports in that BP lawyers are asking a district judge to dismiss a Montana lawsuit that alleges that BP took millions of dollars in insurance money and then left the state with the bill for cleaning contamination from leaky underground storage tanks.

The State of Montana and the Montana Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board have accused BP and its North American subsidiaries of fraud in the cleanup of pollution from gasoline storage tanks at service stations.

BP attorney Patrick Sullivan told District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock on Wednesday that a high standard is required to bring a fraud claim and the state’s lawsuit does not meet it.

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An investigation into the 2009 helicopter crash in the North Sea blames crew error for the crash. The crash occurred when a helicopter carrying 18 people on board, including several offshore crew members, went down into the sea 300 m short of a BP oil and gas platform 125 miles east of Aberdeen.

There were no casualties, and all 18 people were rescued. Workers on the BP Oil and Gas platform witnessed the crash, and were able to begin rescue operations immediately to retrieve the crew from of the water.
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A federal report into the Gulf of Mexico explosion last year blames a combination of shoddy safety practices by BP, a poor cementing job as well as bad decisions taken by BP, Transocean and Halliburton for the tragedy.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement report places most of the blame for the explosion on BP. The report mentions the responsibility shared by Transocean and Halliburton.
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