Tag Archives: Spill

Oil Spill at Quintero Bay, Chile

An oil spill occurred at Quintero Bay, Nr Valparaiso, Chile, following an incident on Thursday, September 24 at the Monobuoy Terminal when the MT Mimosa cut off hoses and cargo connection, resulting in a spill of around three cubic meters at sea, Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) Chile reported.


Following the incident, terminal owners ENAP, in coordination with the National Maritime Authority of Chile, deployed a team of expert environmental personnel to mitigate the impact on the environment, by employing absorbent sleeves and installing barriers with an 800 meters extension. Concurrently, an investigation was established with the involved stakeholders to determine the causes of this incident.


Today, the oil spill teams continue with the environmental cleanup and where affected, vessels will continue to be cleansed before departure.


Port operations have not been stopped but currently the ENAP terminals Monobuoy, Multibuoy and LPG are not working.


 

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Timeline: BP Oil Spill Litigation

BP Plc was found “grossly negligent” on Thursday by a federal judge in connection with its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who oversees litigation related to the disaster, is likely to boost the British oil company’s costs emerging from the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history.

  • April 20, 2010 Rig Explodes: An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig at the Macondo exploration well kills 11 workers and releases millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The well is capped in mid-July. BP ultimately sets aside $42 billion to pay for cleanup costs, damages and penalties.
  • November 2012 Criminal Case Settled: BP agrees to pay $4.5 billion in fines and other penalties and pleads guilty to 14 criminal charges. The U.S. government bans BP from new federal contracts, imperiling the company’s role as a top U.S. offshore oil producer and No. 1 military fuel supplier. Separately, the U.S. Department of Justice files criminal charges against three BP employees in connection with the accident.
  • December 2012 Class Action Settled: Barbier gives final approval to BP’s settlement with individuals and businesses claiming to have lost money and property because of the spill. BP initially estimates it will pay $7.8 billion to settle more than 100,000 claims, but the dollar amount is not capped. The company later says the payout may grow substantially, in part because of payouts to many claimants who suffered no harm, and files numerous legal challenges to the agreement.
  • February 2013 Civil Trial Begins: Officials from the federal government and several U.S. states begin facing BP in court at a three-phase civil trial over how blame should be apportioned between BP, Transocean Ltd, which owned the drilling rig, and Halliburton Co, which did cement work. Government lawyers urge Barbier to find BP grossly negligent, which could roughly quadruple the amount of fines under the U.S. Clean Water Act.
  • Sept. 30, 2013 Second Phase of Trial Begins: The second phase begins to determine how much oil was spilled.
  • Sept. 4, 2014 Judge Finds BP Bears Most of the Blame: Barbier finds BP “grossly negligent” for its role in the oil spill. He assigns 67 percent of the fault to BP, 30 percent to Transocean and 3 percent to Halliburton. BP pledges to appeal.
  • January 2015 Next Phase of Trial Scheduled to Begin: Barbier is scheduled to determine how much oil was spilled. The amount would be used to calculate damages.


(Compiled by David Gregorio; Editing by Howard Goller)

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Maritime NZ Oil Spill Response Review: Submissions

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it invites submissions on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2014 (the draft Strategy).


The draft Strategy, (available at http://bit.ly/1pe6p46) is based on the current version but substantially updated to include lessons learned nationally and internationally in recent years and follows discussion with regional councils, the community and iwi, and industry at a series of public held earlier this year.


The safety agency points out that it is important to note that the strategy does not cover the permitting and approval process for oil and gas exploitation. Neither does it cover emergency response to other hazardous and noxious substances. These issues are “out-of-scope” of this strategy.


Background

Under the Maritime Transport Act 1994, MNZ is required to regularly update the Strategy, last revised in 2006.


The draft Strategy not only provides information about how Maritime NZ responds to marine oil spills, but also, for the first time, sets the vision, principles, goals, and objectives for the next five years for New Zealand’s marine oil spill readiness and response.


When finalised the Strategy will provide a framework within which New Zealand’s approach to managing marine oil spills can continue to develop.


The draft Strategy identifies four key goals:

  • New Zealand is able to respond to a significant marine oil spill
  • New Zealand’s readiness and response is evidence-based, intelligence-led and meets international best practice
  • Maritime NZ builds and maintains relationships that will improve readiness and response to marine oil spills and help meet international obligations
  • Industry and regional readiness and response capability is matched to the scale of their responsibility and risk


The goals and objectives will shape the future capability requirements for New Zealand and Maritime NZ and the resources needed to give effect to this capability.

 
Make a submission

    •    e-mail to osrs@maritimenz.govt.nz

    •    ordinary post to Oil Spill Response Strategy Review, Maritime New Zealand, PO Box 25620, Wellington 6146

    •    fax to (04) 494 8901

    •    delivery to Maritime New Zealand, level 11, 1 Grey Street, Wellington


The deadline for making a submission is 5.00pm on Monday 25 August 2014.

 

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Thai Resort Owners Sue State Owned Company for Oil Spill

Business owners on Koh Samet island are suing a state-owned petroleum enterprise for the oil spill that polluted the resort island’s beaches last year. More than 50,000 litres of crude oil leaked from pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical in July 2013 and blackened several beaches on Koh Samet island, reports Khaosod English.


Pitsanu Khemaphan, president of the Restaurant and Hotel Association on Koh Samet, arrived at Rayong Provincial Court with his lawyer  to file a lawsuit against PTT Global Chemical for the incident, demanding 300 million baht (US$9.4 million) in compensation.


The suit was co-filed by owners of Nimmanoradee Resort, Samet Cabana World Resort, and Heaven Resort, who say their businesses were severely affected by the oil spill. The case has been accepted by court officials for further procedure.


Source: Khaosod English

 

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Tesoro Refining Wins 2011 Long Beach Oil Spill Case

Freeman Freeman & Smiley say that its lead trial attorney  Robert S. Crowder (assisted by attorneys Russell R. Fisk and John D. Van Ackeren) have celebrated a win with their client, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC in a lawsuit filed by Plaintiffs North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association Limited, United Africa Petroleum Limited and General National Maritime Transport Company.

Plaintiffs brought claims as insurer, owner and operator of the Libyan Motor Tanker Aljalaa for cleanup costs associated with an oil spill which occurred at Tesoro’s Long Beach, California, terminal on February 21, 2011.

Although the M/T Aljalaa was admittedly responsible for the spill of its own fuel oil, Plaintiffs claimed that Tesoro was negligent in both responding to the spill and placing a pre-transfer oil spill containment boom from which some of the spilled fuel oil escaped.


At trial, North of England listed $2.74 million in itemized damages and also sought to recover attorney’s fees.


The defense team’s strategy was to defend Plaintiff’s allegations while providing the Court with a readily-understandable explanation of the technical issues in the case.


Honorable Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, presided over the trial in Pasadena. At the close of Plaintiff’s case, Tesoro moved for judgment on partial findings on the ground that Plaintiff had failed to carry its burden of proof on both of the general negligence claims. The motion was briefed, argued, and granted by the Court, resulting in a complete defense and obviating any need for Tesoro to present any evidence or witnesses of its own.


“It is highly satisfying to have demonstrated here that Plaintiff’s contentions were unfounded,” says Robert S. Crowder. “We hope that this result in a case involving stakeholders on four continents that was delivered in a courtroom packed with regulatory and industry observers will dissuade others from seeking to pursue unwarranted claims against those whom they perceive as having deep pockets.”

 

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Appeals Court Not to Revisit BP Oil Spill Compensation Decision

A U.S. appeals court will not revisit a decision to reject BP Plc’s bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if those businesses could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March voted 2-1 to authorize payments on so-called business economic loss claims, and said an injunction preventing payments should be lifted. BP asked the entire 5th Circuit to rehear the case.


However, the 5th Circuit voted 8-5 to let the March ruling stand, according to a court filing made public on Monday.


In a statement, BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said the company is disappointed in the decision, and is considering its options. Plaintiff attorneys Steve Herman and Jim Roy said in a statement they are “pleased that the court of appeals agreed that BP must honor its contract.”


The decision is a setback for BP’s effort to limit payments over the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and rupture of BP’s Macondo oil well.


The disaster killed 11 people and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill.


A lower court judge had ruled that BP would have to live with its earlier interpretation of a multibillion dollar settlement agreement over the spill, in which certain businesses claiming losses were presumed to have suffered harm.


BP argued that this would allow businesses to recover for fictitious losses, but the 5th Circuit rejected its appeal.


The case is In re: Deepwater Horizon, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Nos. 13-30315 and 13-30329.


(By Dan Levine)

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BP Cleaning Up Oil Spill On Alaska’s North Slope

 

Work crews for BP Plc were clearing contaminated snow on Thursday on Alaska‘s North Slope after a Prudhoe Bay well line ruptured, spraying a 34-acre area with crude oil and natural gas.

Just how much liquid escaped from the line remains under investigation by BP and Alaska‘s Department of Environmental Conservation.

It remains unclear whether the leak, detected earlier this week, is connected to a decline in North Slope oil production. BP did not return emails seeking comment.

Since the spill occurred, daily North Slope production has dropped about 10,000 barrels per day, from 533,000 to 521,000, according to state tracking data.

As of Saturday, however, two days before an inspector discovered the problem, production was at 551,000, according to Alaska’s Department of Revenue.

The production figures include five major fields, the largest of which is Prudhoe Bay.

The leak comes nearly eight years after BP had to order Prudhoe operations to be partially shut down when a transit line leak discharged about 200,000 gallons of oil.

And it comes four years after the fatal Macondo well explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, in which BP was the operator.

For the current incident BP has a 40-person crew working during the day and about 20 at night, mainly using shovels and brooms.

This time of year that area receives nearly 20 hours of daylight.

BP discovered the leak during a routine investigation on Monday afternoon, according to an Alaska DEC report.

A few hours after discover the line was depressurized to stop the leak, the state report said.

(Reporting by Steven Quinn; Editing by Terry Wade and Lisa Shumaker)

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Several Cruise Voyages Altered by Houston Spill

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice to cruise passengers affected by the Houston ship channel oil spill stating that several cruise voyages have been altered or rescheduled.


Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas seven-night Western Caribbean March 23 sailing was originally cancelled because of an oil spill in Houston harbor, but has decided to go ahead with a shortened four-night cruise.


Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Magic departed March 25 from Galveston to begin a new cruise after being delayed as a result of the oil spill. The ship is operating a five-day Western Caribbean cruise with calls in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The original voyage was a seven-day cruise scheduled to depart on Sunday, March 23.


Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival triumph departed March 25 from Galveston for a four-day cruise to Cozumel. It was originally scheduled for a five-day cruise.


On March 25, 2014, Carnival issued a statement that passengers who chose to sail on the shortened voyages would receive pro-rated refunds and a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.


Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess sailed from the Port of Houston on March 25 after being held in port since an oil spill closed the Houston Ship Channel. The ship is currently underway on a shortened itinerary which will call to Cozumel on March 27 before returning to Houston on March 29. The original voyage was scheduled to depart March 22 on a seven-day Caribbean cruise calling at Cozumel, Roatan and Belize.


Princess has released a statement with information on refunds and reimbursements for passengers affected by this cruise.


FMC advised passengers to consult their ticket contracts to determine their rights.


fmc.gov

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BP Whiting Oil Spill: Latest Update

The US Coast Guard informs that weather conditions improved overnight enabling clean up operations and assessment activities to progress near the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana.


High winds and heavy surf created unsafe conditions for contractors and assessment team personnel both Friday and Saturday, suspending activities. A Coast Guard helicopter returning from a separate mission conducted an overflight assessment of the area and did not observe any oil sheen on the water.


The assessment team, comprised of representatives from the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, and contractors from BP, resumed assessing the southeast rocky wall of the cove near the refinery to ensure remaining small areas of oiled pebbles were removed by cleanup crews.


With the improved surf conditions, members of the assessment team were able to get underway on a BP Fire Department boat to conduct a comprehensive survey of the path of discharge in search of potentially submerged oil. Other members waded into the water closer to shore also conducting the submerged oil survey. After taking more than 36 underwater probes, the teams did not see any sheening or oil present in or on the water.


As a result of the absence of sheen and oil from the surface of the water for several days, the Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator representative recommended removing all of the boom with the exception of small area surrounding the outfall of the water treatment facility of the refinery, which was the source of the discharge. That section of boom will remain in place until it is confirmed that no oil is in the refinery’s cooling system.


As a result of today’s surveys and progress, the Coast Guard, EPA and BP contractor recommend that the clean up contractors continue to monitor the beach and rocky shoreline to the southeast until Thursday, when a Determination of Clean Survey is conducted by the assessment team.


 

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Texas City Oil Spill Update: Pollution Affects Coast

The Captain of the Port of Houston/Galveston opened the bay to all traffic Thursday after multiple cleanup assessments and input from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Oil is washing up on Matagorda Island. Coast Guard recruit volunteer ‘Sentinels.

After storms Wednesday afternoon and evening slowed cleanup efforts somewhat in the Ports of Texas City and Galveston because of safety concerns, responders quickly ramped up their operations during the first hours of daylight to resume cleaning contaminated areas, Thursday.


The rough weather is expected to continue to subside throughout the rest of the week, and into the weekend, allowing responders to continue cleanup efforts. Mariners are also advised as they are transiting through the port to keep a watchful eye out for protective boom and other response equipment floating in their path. If found, please report the hazard to navigation to the Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16.


A vessel decontamination plan has been formulated to assist vessels that may have been impacted by oil. The sites of the stations are Pelican Cut, Galveston and Bolivar. To schedule a vessel decontamination call (832)-244-1870.


Matagorda Bay

First oil washed ahore Thursday and the Unified Command for the Texas City Y Response is working diligently to clean affected areas and mitigate further landfall.


Oil spill responders from the Incident Command Post Matagorda in Port O’Connor, Texas, continued to implement their aggressive plans intended to protect environmentally sensitive areas of the Matagorda Bay area against impact from a portion of the oil spilled in Saturday’s ship-barge collision near Texas City, Thursday.


The Coast Guard add that members of the public are discouraged from accessing the island until the Unified Command announces that response operations are complete.


Volunteer ‘Sentinels’

Unified Command has approved the use of unpaid volunteers to conduct 26 miles of shoreline assessments.  The “Sentinel” program will start Friday morning with an assessment of Galveston Island.


Volunteer Coordinators from the Galveston Bay Foundation and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary have scheduled approximately 150 volunteers per day to seven Sentinel teams, each working three 4-hour shifts per day.


Each Sentinel team is assigned to a specific section of shoreline and beaches between San Luis Pass and the west end of Stewart Beach (or Ferry Road), a distance of approximately 26 miles that will be surveyed on foot over the next four days.


The volunteers will be trained by U.S. Coast Guard instructors how to identify different types of oil and wildlife using reporting tools developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Emergency Response Division.


 

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