The 2010 BP Gulf Coast oil spill

BP oil well blowout in North Alaska

By Matthew Taylor, 18 April 2017

The natural gas and crude oil spill highlights the recent history of BP and other oil companies’ record of safety and environmental violations.

In wake of Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in 2010

Obama administration issued over 1,000 offshore fracking permits in Gulf of Mexico

By Gary Joad, 8 July 2016

The United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia in daily oil production, primarily due to an increase in fracking.

BP, US government finalize $20 billion settlement over 2010 oil spill

By Tom Hall, 9 October 2015

The oil giant will pay a fraction of the maximum possible fine for the worst environmental catastrophe in American history, while not a single top executive will spend a day in jail.

Oil giant BP reaches sweetheart settlement over 2010 Gulf disaster

By David Brown, 3 July 2015

The agreement is the culmination of the Obama administration’s efforts to shield BP from responsibility for the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Former BP executive acquitted of charges from 2010 oil spill

By Tom Hall, 8 June 2015

The acquittal of David Rainey means that not a single BP executive will have been held accountable for the worst environmental disaster in American history.

Lawmakers push to expand offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

By Matthew Taylor, 4 June 2015

Bills have recently been introduced in the US Senate that would expand oil drilling off the coast of Florida and Alabama.

Five years since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

By E.P. Bannon, 23 April 2015

While the disastrous effects of the spill cannot be overstated, five years have passed and none of the perpetrators have been held accountable for their actions.

Obama administration moves to open US coastlines to offshore drilling

By Nick Barrickman, 31 January 2015

In a major giveaway to US energy corporations, the Department of the Interior announced that it would open a large section of the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling for the first time.

Federal judge cuts BP oil spill fine by billions of dollars

By Tom Hall, 17 January 2015

BP’s maximum fine for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be $13.7 billion, far lower than the $18 billion fine called for by prosecutors.

BP oil spill left massive “bathtub ring” in Gulf of Mexico

By Tom Hall, 3 November 2014

Millions of gallons of oil released during the 2010 BP oil spill fell to the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study released last week.

Toxic wastewater from copper mine spills into river in northern Mexico

By Matthew Brennan, 20 August 2014

The disaster has cut off water supplies for over 20,000 people in Sonora.

US Environmental Protection Agency lifts ban on federal contracts for BP

By Tom Hall, 17 March 2014

The EPA announced last week that it would allow BP to compete for new federal oil contracts, lifting a ban instituted in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Second stage in civil trial over BP oil spill opens

By Nick Barrickman, 3 October 2013

Energy giant BP faces plaintiffs in a trial to determine the company’s culpability for damages from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Halliburton pleads guilty to charges stemming from BP oil spill

By Tom Hall, 23 September 2013

Halliburton has pled guilty to destroying evidence related to the 2010 BP oil spill, paying a paltry $200,000 in fines.

BP asks appeals court to throw out oil spill settlement

By Tom Hall, 3 September 2013

BP has requested that the courts throw out the entirety of the spill settlement if a separate appeal against “fraudulent claims” is unsuccessful.

BP reneges on claims as environmental devastation persists in Gulf of Mexico

By Tom Hall, 14 August 2013

With the company’s profits declining, British Petroleum is attempting to avoid compensating people affected by the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying gulf oil spill evidence

By Andre Damon, 27 July 2013

Halliburton, the oil field services contractor, agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence related to its complicity in causing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Gas rig fire off Louisiana coast

By Tom Eley, 26 July 2013

On Tuesday a gas rig located 55 miles off Louisiana’s coast in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a blowout and fire that continued to burn until Thursday afternoon

BP attempts to dodge fines in connection with Gulf Coast oil disaster

By E.P. Bannon, 26 June 2013

Oil giant BP is waging an offensive on multiple fronts to evade culpability and reduce settlement payments in connection with the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Millions of BP settlement funds go to tourism industry

By E.P. Bannon, 13 May 2013

Out of the $94 million granted to the state of Alabama, $85.5 million will go toward refurbishing the Gulf Shores State Park, including the building of a convention center and 300-room hotel.

BP civil trial opens

By Bryan Dyne, 27 February 2013

BP is going to trial over civil claims under the Clean Water Act related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Transocean settles for $1.4 billion in criminal and civil charges

By Bryan Dyne, 8 January 2013

Transocean is being required to pay a modest fine, over the course of five years, for its part in the 2010 explosion.

Deadly oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico

By Bryan Dyne, 19 November 2012

An explosion on board an oil rig owned by Black Elk Energy in the Gulf of Mexico has killed at least one worker, with another missing and presumed dead as of Sunday afternoon.

BP settles for $4.5 billion in federal criminal charges

By Bryan Dyne, 17 November 2012

BP has reached a settlement on all criminal claims with the US Department of Justice and on all securities claims with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Government charges low-level BP employee in Gulf oil spill

By Tom Hall, 28 April 2012

The prosecution will be aimed not at exposing the real culpability for the BP disaster, but at covering it up. This has been the role of the Obama administration from the beginning.

Two years since the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster

By Andre Damon, 21 April 2012

Two years after the worst environmental disaster in US history, BP is making billions in profits while its executives go unpunished.

BP settles for $7.8 billion in Gulf blowout

By Tom Eley, 6 March 2012

Oil giant BP will pay only $7.8 billion to settle with victims of the 2010 Gulf oil blowout.

Obama green lights new BP Gulf oil drilling

By Tom Eley, 3 November 2011

The Obama administration has allowed BP to start new deep-sea oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

Report cites BP responsibility in Gulf blowout

By Tom Eley, 24 September 2011

A new government report attributes the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to “poor risk management” by oil giant BP.

Gulf slick matches oil from BP spill

By Hiram Lee, 30 August 2011

Scientists confirm that oil observed in the Gulf of Mexico last week is a chemical match to oil from BP's Macondo well.

Obama opens up delicate Alaska ecosystem for drilling

By Bryan Dyne, 16 August 2011

A federal agency has approved the first new oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea since the Gulf oil spill last year.

One year since the BP oil spill: Obama “claims czar” provides no relief for the people of the Gulf

By Tom Eley, 26 April 2011

The Obama administration’s Gulf “claims czar,” Kenneth Feinberg, has blocked the vast majority of those hurt by the BP Gulf oil disaster from compensation.

One year since the BP oil spill: The environmental disaster continues

By Tom Eley, 23 April 2011

This is the third installment in a four-part WSWS series marking the first anniversary of the BP Gulf oil disaster. The catastrophic ecological and human health consequences will last for decades.

One year since the BP oil spill: A colossal failure of the “free market”

By Tom Eley, 21 April 2011

This second installment in a four-part WSWS series marking the first anniversary of the BP Gulf oil disaster focuses on the role of deregulation in creating conditions for the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout.

One year since the BP oil spill: Covering up a catastrophe

By Tom Eley, 20 April 2011

This article, the first of a four-part series marking the first anniversary of the BP Gulf oil disaster, reviews the systematic corporate and government cover-up of the BP disaster and its consequences.

BP asks permission to resume drilling in Gulf of Mexico

By Peter Daniels, 6 April 2011

Oil giant BP is negotiating with US regulators to secure permission to resume oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama administration approves first deepwater drilling permit since BP oil spill

By Hiram Lee, 2 March 2011

The Obama administration has approved the first deepwater drilling permit for the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon disaster that caused the worst oil spill in history.

In effort to limit BP payout, compensation fund head says gulf recovery imminent

By Andre Damon, 8 February 2011

Kenneth Feinberg, the head of the BP oil spill compensation fund, last week published a document that paves the way for a drastic reduction in BP’s payments to fishermen and business owners hurt by the oil spill.

Commission report whitewashes BP’s role in oil spill

By Andre Damon, 13 January 2011

The national commission on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill released its final report Wednesday, a key step in the Obama administration’s program to continue unregulated offshore drilling after the greatest man-made ecological disaster in US history.

BP claims czar: $10 billion “more than enough” to compensate oil spill victims

By Kate Randall, 7 January 2011

”Independent claims czar” Kenneth Feinberg says that only about $10 billion will be necessary to compensate victims of the BP oil spill.

Over 300,000 affected by boil-water advisory in New Orleans

By E. P. Bannon, 27 November 2010

The first boil-water advisory in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina was put into effect late last Friday night, lasting most of the weekend for a total of 41 hours.

Struggling California condor population suggests persistence of DDT

By Frances Gaertner and Kristina Betinis, 23 November 2010

Recent reports of a struggling California condor population indicate the persistence of DDT contamination, threatening animal life and human health.

New report on Gulf oil spill shows BP ignored warning signs

By Hiram Lee, 19 November 2010

A new report on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster provides new evidence of negligence on the part of BP.

Marine biologist denounces BP commission findings

By Andre Damon, 11 November 2010

The findings of the White House commission into the BP oil spill are a cover-up of BP’s culpability in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to Rick Steiner, a biologist specializing in oil spills.

Presidential commission whitewashes BP disaster

By Jerry White, 9 November 2010

President Obama’s commission on the BP oil disaster claims there is no evidence the oil giant sacrificed safety to save money.

BP spill claims czar throws out thousands of applications

By Tom Eley, 3 November 2010

The Independent Claims Facility responsible for distributing money to those who lost their homes and jobs as a result of the BP oil blowout has blocked 20,000 applications, up from 150 at the end of September.

Halliburton tests warned of cement problems before BP well blowout

By Kate Randall, 30 October 2010

Weeks before the April 20 explosion, Halliburton and BP were aware of test results showing problems with the cement mixture designed to temporarily seal the Macondo well.

Six months of the Gulf oil disaster

By Hiram Lee, 25 October 2010

October 20 marked the six-month anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed 11 workers and led to worst oil spill in history.

Obama lifts moratorium on deepwater oil drilling

By Hiram Lee, 14 October 2010

The Obama administration has lifted the moratorium on deepwater oil drilling six weeks ahead of schedule.

Reports expose White House cover-up of BP spill

By Tom Eley, 8 October 2010

A damning new report reveals that the Obama administration suppressed information regarding the size of the BP oil spill, handicapping response efforts and confusing public perception of the catastrophe.

BP seals well, but environmental disaster continues

By Hiram Lee, 20 September 2010

BP has successfully completed its “bottom kill” procedure, sealing the Macondo well, but the environmental consequences of the oil spill continue.

Scientists find large amounts of oil on Gulf of Mexico seafloor

By Hiram Lee, 16 September 2010

Researchers with the University of Georgia have found large amounts of oil at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

BP report whitewashes oil disaster

By Hiram Lee, 10 September 2010

A report on the Deepwater Horizon disaster issued by BP seeks to place blame for the oil blowout on corporations Transocean and Halliburton while minimizing BP’s own role in the disaster.

BP warns Congress offshore drilling regulations will threaten compensation fund

By Hiram Lee, 7 September 2010

BP has warned Congress that new legislation placing limits on offshore drilling would prevent it from settling claims through the $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Oil rig explodes off the Louisiana coast

By Kate Randall, 3 September 2010

Another offshore oil rig exploded and caught fire Thursday morning off the shore of Louisiana, just more than four months since the April 20 blowout of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig.

Hearing reveals confusion aboard Deepwater Horizon rig

By Hiram Lee, 25 August 2010

Testimony Tuesday from Transocean employees who were aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig revealed enormous confusion in the aftermath of the April 20 blowout.

Claims fund designed to limit payouts, shield BP from lawsuits

By Tom Eley, 23 August 2010

The escrow claims fund to compensate victims of the BP Gulf oil disaster has set even more stringent restrictions than had been previously indicated.

Massive oil plumes remain in the Gulf, study shows

By Hiram Lee, 21 August 2010

A new study on oil plumes in the Gulf of Mexico by independent scientists contradicts the Obama administration’s claims that the remaining oil in the Gulf is rapidly biodegrading.

White House numbers on oil spill challenged at congressional hearing

By Hiram Lee, 20 August 2010

Scientists and commercial fishermen appearing before a congressional hearing on Thursday challenged assertions from the Obama administration that the “vast majority” of the oil dumped into the Gulf of Mexico is gone.

Scientists estimate nearly 80 percent of oil remains a threat

By David Walsh, 18 August 2010

Two new reports from independent scientists expose the BP and Obama administration campaign to convince the public that the Deepwater Horizon disaster is effectively over and done with.

Relief wells delayed over fears of a new spill

By Tom Eley, 17 August 2010

As of Monday, BP had yet to resume drilling of two relief wells which aim to permanently seal off its Macondo well. The latest delay arose over concerns that the operation might create a new spill.

Obama mortgages the Gulf of Mexico to BP

By Patrick Martin, 12 August 2010

The Obama administration has agreed to base the payments by BP into the “independent” oil disaster fund on the oil giant’s profits from its drilling operations in the Gulf.

BP and White House conclude negotiations on compensation fund

By Hiram Lee, 10 August 2010

BP and the Obama administration concluded negotiations on the $20 billion compensation fund for victims of the oil spill on Monday. The fund is grossly inadequate for meeting the social need in the Gulf.

A massive crime compounded by a massive cover-up

By Hiram Lee, 9 August 2010

The Obama administration is in full propaganda mode in an effort to declare an end to the Gulf oil disaster and cover up its massive environmental and economic consequences.

Socialist Equality Party holds public meetings in New Orleans, Mobile

By a WSWS reporting team, 9 August 2010

The Socialist Equality Party held two public meetings in the Gulf Coast last week, centering on the political implications of the BP oil spill.

BP scales down cleanup efforts

By Hiram Lee, 7 August 2010

BP has begun drawing down cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico while the Obama administration is considering bringing its offshore drilling moratorium to an end sooner than expected.

Scientists criticize White House minimization of Gulf disaster

By Tom Eley, 6 August 2010

Scientists have sharply criticized a new Obama administration report that seeks to minimize the extent of the Gulf oil disaster.

Obama declares Gulf disaster “coming to an end”

By Tom Eley, 5 August 2010

Obama's remarks on Wednesday, along with a three-page National Incident Command report, are part of a concerted campaign to downplay the effects of the worst environmental disaster in US history and support BP's shutdown of clean up operations.

Gulf disaster largest oil spill ever

By Tom Eley, 4 August 2010

A team of government-sponsored scientists has concluded that the BP blowout has dumped 206 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, making the disaster the worst oceanic oil spill in world history.

EPA holds public meeting on Michigan oil spill

By a WSWS reporting team, 4 August 2010

World Socialist Web Site reporters attended a public meeting on the oil spill in Marshall, Michigan and spoke with residents affected by the accident.

“Independent claims czar” on BP payroll

By Tom Eley, 3 August 2010

Gulf disaster “independent claims czar” Kenneth Feinberg is on the payroll of BP, he has admitted. He has not revealed how much BP pays him for his work on the Independent Claims Facility.

Economic crisis deepens in Gulf

By Tom Eley, 2 August 2010

Recent studies continue to point to the devastating economic effects of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf region.

As BP winds down cleanup, environmental impact spreads

By Tom Eley, 31 July 2010

BP announced Friday it will scale back cleanup operations, in spite of fresh evidence of environmental catastrophe in the Gulf.

Corporate media downplays Gulf oil spill

By Josué Olmos, 30 July 2010

A number of recent articles in the corporate media have sought to minimize the effects of the Gulf oil spill and purge the event from the consciousness of the American people.

Michigan oil spill forces evacuations

Regulators warned Enbridge of pipeline corrosion

By Tom Eley and Dwight Stoll, 30 July 2010

Dozens of families have been evacuated from their homes along streams and rivers in central Michigan in the wake of an oil spill from a ruptured pipeline, which likely took place on Sunday. Local health officials have also warned residents against drinking water from wells that may be contaminated by the oil.

Gulf oil spill: 100 days of disaster

By Tom Eley, 29 July 2010

The first 100 days of the BP Gulf oil catastrophe have provided an object lesson in the destructiveness and irrationality of capitalism.

800,000 gallons of oil spilled into Michigan river

By Josué Olmos, 29 July 2010

On Sunday, July 25, a leak at an oil pipeline pump near Marshall, Michigan sent over 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilling into the Kalamazoo River. The health and environmental effects of the spill have already begun to take their toll.

BP’s Hayward out, with golden parachute

By Tom Eley, 28 July 2010

BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward will be replaced by American Robert Dudley on October 1. Hayward will be given a multi-million dollar pension and a lucrative new position with a BP venture in Russia.

BP to take $10 billion tax write-off for cleanup

By Tom Eley, 28 July 2010

BP’s billions of dollars in tax write-offs in the US and UK will essentially shift the burden of paying for much of the cleanup and compensation onto the public.

BP attempts to buy silence of Gulf Coast scientists

By Josué Olmos, 27 July 2010

As part of its campaign to cover up the devastating effects of the Gulf oil spill, BP offered contracts to public university scientists that stipulated strict secrecy and lawyer-dictated research assignments.

Alarm on BP oil rig disabled prior to explosion

By Josué Olmos, 26 July 2010

A technician has testified that the general alarm system on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was partially disabled, one of a series of decisions sacrificing safety that led up to the April 20 explosion.

Most oil industry lobbyists in US worked for government

By Josué Olmos, 24 July 2010

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics show the extensive influential reach of BP and the oil industry through their lobbyists and campaign contributions. There is no clear line of division between the US government and the oil industry.

Fishermen on strike against BP

By Hiram Lee, 23 July 2010

Gulf fishermen employed as cleanup workers walked off the job on Tuesday in protest against BP’s decision to force them to sleep on quarter ships known as “flotels” without pay.

Deepwater Horizon workers knew of problems before explosion

By Josué Olmos, 23 July 2010

Two internal Transocean reports reveal that Deepwater Horizon workers were well aware of mechanical and safety problems aboard the rig, but they feared reprisal should they speak out.

Cameron negotiates BP-Libya minefield in Washington

By Julie Hyland, 22 July 2010

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s first official visit to Washington was trailed in the British media as signalling a more “pragmatic” approach to the transatlantic “special relationship.”

Public health crisis looms in Gulf

By Tom Eley and Dwight Stoll, 22 July 2010

Experts warn of a long-term public health crisis on the US Gulf Coast as a result of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP considers “static kill” procedure

By Hiram Lee, 21 July 2010

BP has announced that it is preparing yet another new procedure called a “static kill” to stop the oil flowing from beneath the sea floor, as concerns continue about possible damage to well casing.

Job losses in Gulf region could reach 100,000 or more

By Josué Olmos, 21 July 2010

A report by Moody’s estimates that as many as 100,000 jobs and $7.4 billion could be lost as a direct result of the BP oil spill, while another report warns of nearly 200,000 jobs lost in Florida alone under a worst case scenario.

US government bows to BP on well cap

Seepage and “undetermined anomalies” found near Macondo well

By Tom Eley, 20 July 2010

The Obama administration has backed down before BP after earlier demanding that it remove a cap on the Macondo oil well. Seepage and “undetermined anomalies” have been found near the wellhead indicating possible damage to the well casing.

Seepage found near BP’s capped Macondo well

By Tom Eley, 19 July 2010

An oil seep was found at the ocean floor near BP’s Macondo well, which was fully capped last Tuesday as part of what was originally billed as a 48-hour pressure test.

Feinberg to fishermen: “Don’t blame the spill—life is unfair!”

Workers angry over decision to subtract “cleanup pay” from claims

By Tom Eley and Josué Olmos, 19 July 2010

Gulf fishermen are angry over “claims czar” Kenneth Feinberg’s decision to subtract their cleanup pay from any restitution they might realize from BP.

As BP claims success in capping well

Gulf economy in ruins

By Tom Eley, 17 July 2010

If the erupting Macondo well has in fact been successfully capped, the media will quickly drop the story, politicians will wind down their investigations, and BP will go back to raking in enormous profits on reckless drilling operations. But what will be left of the Gulf Coast?

BP begins two-day pressure test of new capping device

Possible damage to well casing

By Tom Eley, 16 July 2010

After two days of delay, BP on Tuesday afternoon began its 48-hour pressure test to determine whether or not the runaway Macondo well can withstand a new capping system.

Researchers predict oil spill could reach Atlantic Ocean

By Hiram Lee, 16 July 2010

A computer model created by researchers at the University of Hawaii shows the possibility of the spread of oil from the Deepwater Horizon site to the east coast of the United States and the Atlantic Ocean.

Major seabird nesting area in Louisiana contaminated by oil

By Hiram Lee, 16 July 2010

Researchers with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology report oil contamination of a major seabird nesting area in Louisiana.

BP abruptly suspends testing on new well cap

By Hiram Lee, 15 July 2010

Without explanation, BP delayed testing of the new capping system placed over its runaway Macondo well on Tuesday.

Presidential commission denounces deep sea drilling moratorium

By Hiram Lee, 15 July 2010

The co-chairs of the White House-appointed commission appointed to investigate the Gulf oil disaster have come out against the deep-sea drilling moratorium after just two days of public hearings.

Obama, BP seek new “turning point” with well-capping effort

By Tom Eley, 14 July 2010

BP began pressure testing today on a new cap it lowered over the erupting Macondo oil well. It follows the start of hearings of the Obama administration’s toothless presidential commission on the blowout and a revised “moratorium” on Gulf oil drilling this week.

BP cuts benefits to victims of Gulf oil disaster

“Claims czar” urges residents not to sue BP

By Tom Eley, 14 July 2010

BP has set to work both reducing settlements and dismissing tens of thousands of claims from the victims of the Gulf oil crisis, while “independent” claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg has asked residents not to sue BP.

National Commission on oil spill covers up for BP, government

By Hiram Lee, 13 July 2010

The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling held its first public meeting in New Orleans on Monday. Committee members presented no challenges to the testimony of BP executive Kent Wells or Coast Guard Admiral Peter Neffenger.