BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill: A timeline
London (Platts)--15Nov2012/355 pm EST/2055 GMT
BP said Thursday it will pay more than $4 billion to settle US criminal
and civil claims and has agreed to plead guilty to 14 charges in connection
with the 2010 explosion and oil spill at its Macondo exploratory well in the
Gulf of Mexico.
The following is a timeline of events leading up to that announcement:
April 20, 2010
--An explosion rips through the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of
Mexico, killing 11. A second blast sinks the rig on April 22. The well's
blowout preventer fails to activate, allowing more than an estimated 60,000
b/d of crude to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. Then BP CEO Tony Hayward says
the company will take full responsibility, paying for all legitimate claims
and the cost for the clean-up.
June 16, 2010
--BP agrees to set up a $20 billion trust fund to pay for spill damages and
claims. The company suspends dividend payments to its shareholders and plans
to sell $30 billion worth of assets in a year to help pay for the spill.
June 25, 2010
--BP shares slump to a 14-year low after it reveals the cost of containing
and cleaning up the spill was continuing to accelerate.
July 15, 2010
--The Macondo wellhead is capped after releasing up to an estimated 4.9
million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest offshore oil
spill in history. BP captured about 800,000 barrels of that in a variety of
collection devices deployed during the crisis phase.
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July 27, 2010
--BP confirms US board member Robert Dudley will replace Tony Hayward as the
company's chief executive from October 1. Hayward is criticized for a string
of gaffes in handling the spill, including saying he wanted his "life back"
and calling the spill "relatively tiny" in a "very big ocean."
September 8, 2010
--BP releases internal investigation into incident blaming a "sequence of
failures" by more than one company for the Macondo blowout, but points to key
failures by rig-owner Transocean and contractor Halliburton.
September 19, 2010
--The Macondo well is declared "dead" after BP completes a relief well to
permanently seal the well bore.
September 29, 2010
--BP's Andy Inglis steps down as head of the company's upstream business.
April 30, 2011
--BP sues Transocean for $40 billion over damages arising from the spill. BP
also files suits against Cameron and Halliburton blaming the contractors for
being part of the cause of the disaster.
May 20, 2011
--Japan's Mitsui agrees to pay BP $1.1 billion in the first settlement over
the disputed costs of the oil spill by BP's Macondo block partners.
September 14, 2011
--US federal investigators conclude a series of failures by BP and
contractors Transocean and Halliburton caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster
following a 17-month probe. The report singles out BP for a number of errors,
including "failure to appropriately analyze and evaluate risks" associated
with the well in the final days leading to the blowout.
October 17, 2011
--BP's other partner in the Macondo block, Anadarko Petroleum, agrees to pay
BP $4 billion to settle all claims related to the accident and spill.
October 25, 2011
--BP announces plan to sell a further $15 billion worth of assets over the
next two years to pay for the spill.
December 16, 2011
--Cameron International, the maker of the blowout preventer on the Macondo
well, agrees to pay BP $250 million to settle claims arising from the
March 4, 2012
--BP agrees $7.8 billion settlement with the largest group of plaintiffs for
claims arising from the spill.
September 5, 2012
--BP's shares fall by more than 4% after it is accused of "gross negligence
and willful misconduct" over the spill by the US Department of Justice.
October 26, 2012
--US Judge Carl Barbier delays the start date for the first consolidated
federal Macondo damages trial by a month to February 25, 2013. The New
Orleans case is set to decide final liabilities for the spill. BP reiterates
it remains willing to settle "fair and reasonable terms" ahead of the trial.
November 15, 2012
--BP agrees to pay some $4.5 billion to settle US criminal and SEC claims
over the spill, It pleads guilty to 14 charges in connection with the
--BP still faces US Clean Water Act fines of up to $21 billion if found
grossly negligent in the New Orleans trial.
--Robert Perkins, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Katharine Fraser, email@example.com