BP Deepwater Horizon managers plead innocent to criminal charges

29 November 2012 17:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A former BP executive and two Deepwater Horizon supervisors from BP have pleaded innocent to criminal charges stemming from the death of 11 workers and the massive oil spill after the rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Thursday.

Deepwater Horizon onsite managers Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine were charged with 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter, 11 counts of seaman’s slaughter and violation of the Clean Water Act, said Rebecca Carmichael, a spokeswoman with the DOJ.

The charges allege that Kaluza and Vidrine were at the well site on 20 April 2010 and had indications that the Macondo well was not secure but chose not to take appropriate steps to prevent the blowout.

In addition, BP’s former deputy incident commander, David Rainey, was charged with obstruction of Congress and making false statements to law enforcement officials during the investigation into the oil spill.

Rainey allegedly manipulated internal estimates of oil flow and withheld data contradicting public estimates, the DOJ said.

The charges follow an agreement on 15 November, in which BP will pay $4.5bn (€3.5bn) to settle federal criminal charges and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims against the UK-based oil giant. The resolution is subject to US federal court approval.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Wednesday that it has temporarily suspended BP from winning new contracts with the federal government because of the company’s conduct during and in response to the incident.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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