Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oil Companies Pay a Pittance in Penalties to Offshore Drilling Regulator

 
 

Men position oil boom barriers to contain the ongoing spill from BP's Deepwater Horizon platform. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)
Men position oil boom barriers to contain the ongoing spill from BP's Deepwater Horizon platform. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, as part of our coverage of the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we noted the troubled past of the Minerals Management Service, the agency that regulates offshore oil and gas drilling.

On its website, MMS says that it issues civil penalties for serious safety violations [1]. And there have been violations. A study conducted by the Minerals Management Service found that from 2001 to 2007, offshore drilling accidents resulted in 41 deaths and 302 injuries [2], according to The Huffington Post.

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 Abrahm.Lustgarten
@propublica.org
.

In an analysis of civil penalties levied by the regulator, we at ProPublica found that over the past 12 years the average penalty has been $45,000. Currently, MMS can fine oil and gas companies a maximum of $35,000 per violation per day [3] (PDF). The biggest fine an oil company has paid to the agency since 1998 was $810,000, paid in 2001 by Chevron. Overall, the Minerals Management Service has collected $20 million in penalties in those 12 years.

That kind of money is unlikely to sting much, considering the profits that major oil companies take in.

http://www.propublica.org/ion/blog/item/oil-companies-pay-a-pittance-in-penalties-to-offshore-drilling-regulator

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Blog Archive

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Search This Blog

Salvador Dali of the Day

There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget

About Me

My photo

I am not that other Michael Dare.

Subscribe Now: standard