BP: Current U.S. Gulf Operations Untouched by EPA’s Suspension
BP was quick to react after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a press release in which it said that the British oil giant would be temporary banned from making new arrangements with the federal government.
In a statement issued on its website BP highlighted that the temporary suspension relates only to future potential contracts with the U.S. government and won’t affect any existing contracts the company has with the US government, including those relating to current and ongoing drilling and production operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
To remind, EPA explained the move as a necessary action“due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response.”
The suspension will remain in force until BP can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets Federal business standards, EPA explained in its press release.
One year suspension?
In its response BP, headquartered in London, said it has already provided EPA with a statement of more than 100 pages and supplemental answers to the EPA’s questions based on that submission, to prove itself a responsible company able to do business with the government.
BP, which two weeks ago pleaded guilty for its conduct relating to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response, said it was notified by EPA that the suspension could be lifted soon. Some sources, such as Forbes and Federal Times claim that the ban could last for one year, while The Washington Post predicts the suspension could be in force until the end of legal proceedings related to the oil spill disaster.
BP added the company has made significant enhancements since the accident, saying that immediately after the Deepwater Horizon accident, the company launched an internal investigation, publicly released the results, made changes to the management, and has been implementing all 26 of the investigation’s recommendations.
“In the two and a half years since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the US government has granted BP more than 50 new leases in the Gulf of Mexico, where the company has been drilling safely since the government moratorium was lifted,” BP said.
Markey: Righteous Punishment
Representative Edward J. Markey today, on his blog, praised the Obama administration move: “…suspending BP’s access to contracts with our government is the right thing to do…When someone recklessly crashes a car, their license and keys are taken away. The wreckage of BP’s recklessness is still sitting at the bottom of the ocean and this kind of time out is an appropriate element of the suite of criminal, civil and economic punishments that BP should pay for their disaster.”
No BP bids
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today held Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 229, which offered over 20 millions acres and attracted more that $133 million in high bids for the acreage in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Texas. Thirteen companies submitted the bids, and BP was not one of them, The Washington Post reports, citing sources close to the UK-based oil giant.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, November 28, 2012