Journalism in the Public Interest

Gulf Oil Spill

BP Agrees to Plead Guilty to Crimes in Gulf Oil Spill


BP agreed to plead guilty today to charges of manslaughter, environmental crimes, and lying to Congress in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion, which killed 11 workers and sent as much as 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

As part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the company will pay $4.5 billion in what is the largest fine ever levied on a corporation in the United States.

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Discussion: What Do EPA Sanctions Mean for BP’s Future?

Reporter Abrahm Lustgarten answered your questions about the EPA's temporary suspension of BP from receiving new government contracts.

Latest Sanction Against BP Goes Beyond Gulf Spill

The government's decision to at least temporarily ban BP from federal contracts is a result of not just the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill, but years of safety problems at the oil giant.

EPA Officials Weigh Sanctions Against BP’s U.S. Operations

The EPA is considering whether to bar BP from receiving government contracts, a move that would ultimately cost the company billions in revenue and could end its drilling in federally controlled oil fields.

Feds File First Criminal Charges Related to BP Gulf Spill

The charges against former BP engineer Kurt Mix are expected to be the first step in an ongoing investigation that could reach into the executive suite.

A Punishment BP Can’t Pay Off

What is missing is a criminal prosecution that holds BP individuals responsible.

Feds Let BP Off Probation Despite Pending Safety Violations

A Justice Department spokesman said BP had addressed 270 serious violations at the Texas City refinery where 15 workers died in an explosion, but the company is still negotiating with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over hundreds more.

BP Settlement Leaves Most Complex Claims Unresolved

BP has agreed to pay $7.8 billion to compensate Gulf Coast residents damaged in a massive 2010 oil spill, but the company still faces a criminal investigation and a battery of state lawsuits and federal claims

‘Spillionaires’ Powerbroker Loses Re-election Bid

Craig Taffaro Jr., president of Louisiana’s St. Bernard parish, who had been accused of favoritism in awarding work after the BP oil spill, loses to a candidate promising reform.

Latest BP Spill in Alaska Was Foreshadowed in Risk Assessment Last Year

A section of the BP pipeline that leaked thousands of gallons of methanol and oily wastewater into the Alaskan tundra on Saturday was flagged by the company more than a year ago as so corroded it presented an imminent threat of rupture.

Spillionaires Revisited: Gov’t Official’s Associates Got Big Contracts After the BP Oil Spill

Craig Taffaro, president of Louisiana's St. Bernard Parish, has denied allegations in an earlier ProPublica story, but new reporting shows that longtime associates got lucrative spill-related work—and then they helped raise money for his re-election.

Chief Offshore Drilling Regulator Criticizes Lack of Oversight for Contractors

The top U.S. regulator of offshore oil drilling said it made no sense that his agency is not conducting direct oversight of contractors who work on offshore oil rigs.

Kim Barker on To The Point

Gulf’s Delacroix Islanders Watch As Their World Disappears

The BP oil spill is just the latest disaster to hit a fishing community that has struggled with hurricanes, erosion and competition from cheap imports. The fishermen ask themselves about the future and worry that they may be the last of their kind.

‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill

Some people profited by charging BP outrageous rates for cleanup. Others profited from BP claims money, handed out in arbitrary ways. Meanwhile, others hurt by the spill ended up getting much less.

Gulf Claims Chief Announces Payment Plan That Assumes Quick Recovery

Gulf spill paymaster Kenneth Feinberg today released a draft of his long-awaited methodology for deciding payments on final claims for damages from the BP oil spill.

Gulf Claims Czar Makes Mixed Progress on Transparency Pledges

Gulf spill paymaster Kenneth Feinberg has made mixed progress in carrying out his transparency promises.

Déjà-vu? The National Commission Report on BP’s Gulf Disaster Echoes Old Findings

A sneak-peek chapter from the national commission's report on the BP Gulf disaster didn’t actually conclude anything new.

The BP Oil Spill Saga: Where Things Stand Now

More than eight months after the start of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, we assess where things stand now with accountability and look back at how the disaster has changed the Gulf and shifted the nation’s regulatory regime.

Where Things Stand: Gulf Oil Spill Claims

One of the central pieces of BP’s program to make amends after the Gulf oil spill disaster was a claims system to compensate individuals and businesses that lost money. Although nearly $3 billion has been paid out, there have been chronic delays that have caused frustration and serious economic hard

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If you work for BP or a contractor on a rig in the Gulf, or anywhere else, we’d like to hear from you. Tell us about your work conditions, your management, and your observations of what is happening. We will not publish your identity. Call 917-512-0254, fax documents to 212-514-5250 or e-mail

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