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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Whistleblower Sues to Stop Another BP Rig From Operating

A lawsuit alleges that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for another oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Damaged Equipment, Feuding Between BP and Transocean in Lead-Up to Explosion

In the weeks before the Deepwater Horizon spill, an accident on the rig damaged a crucial piece of safety equipment, according to "60 Minutes."

BP Turns Down Offers to Better Measure Gulf Disaster

Scientists think the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is far bigger than estimated, but BP says there is no way to measure the leak.

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words ... and Millions of Barrels of Oil

Pictures of the Gulf oil spill can be more powerful than the words.

Gulf Oil Spill Update: Way Worse Than They Told Us

The estimates of the amount of oil spilling in the Gulf of Mexico keep going up.

Does Administration’s Proposed Break-up of Offshore Oil Regulator Go Far Enough?

MMS, the agency regulating offshore drilling would be split under an Interior Department proposal.

After Spill, More Gulf Drilling Plans Got Environmental Exemptions

Even as oil was spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, companies were granted exemptions from in-depth environmental analysis for proposed drilling, McClatchy reported.

Despite Previous Equipment Failure, BP Says Spill ‘Seemed Inconceivable’

BP says the cause of the Gulf oil spill "was unprecedented," but records show otherwise.

EPA Approves BP’s Use of Questionable Chemicals to Break Up Oil

BP has resumed spraying dispersants to break up the Gulf oil spill, with EPA approval.

Regulators Let Industry Drill Deeper, Despite Safety Concerns and Unproven Fixes

Deepwater drilling has been increasing without much regulatory oversight or new technology to deal with the issues created by the huge water pressure.

Offshore Drilling Regulators Had Concerns, but Let Industry Self-Police

Regulators had concerns about safety devices on oil rigs, but allowed the industry largely to police itself, two reports show.

Govt Agency: Offshore Drilling Regulator Understated Risks of Oil Spills in Plans to Expand Drilling

A plan for expanding drilling off the coast of Alaska was criticized by NOAA last year.

NYT: We ‘Should Have Included’ Source’s Industry Ties in Our Gulf Oil Spill Story

The New York Times clarifies the connections that a Gulf of Mexico conservation group has to the oil industry.

Congressmen Raised Concerns About BP Safety Before Gulf Oil Spill

In a letter to a BP executive this year, two congressman warned that the company's cost-cutting could jeopardize safety.

Nonprofit Conservation Group Has Ties to Oil Interests, Gulf Oil Spill

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation, cited by The New York Times, has some close connections to the oil industry.

Oil Companies Pay a Pittance in Penalties to Offshore Drilling Regulator

The fines that oil companies have paid for safety violations are dwarfed by their profits.

Chemicals Meant To Break Up BP Oil Spill Present New Environmental Concerns

Oil dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico contain their own toxins and can concentrate leftover oil toxins in the water.

BP Had Other Problems in Years Leading to Gulf Spill

BP has been fined in recent years for a deadly refinery explosion in Texas and a pipeline leak in Alaska.

Gulf Oil Spill Puts Spotlight on Regulator With Mixed Record

The Minerals Management Service, which oversees oil rigs, has had ethical and other problems.

Anonymous Tipline

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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