News Column

US Temporarily Suspends BP from New Gov't Contracts

Nov. 28, 2012

The US government on Wednesday temporarily suspended BP from government contracts over the British oil concern's handling of the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The action by the US government was a consequence of the lack of integrity the organization showed in the explosion of the oil platform Deepwater Horizon and the following oil spill, the US Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement.

New contracts would be awarded when the concern had provided convincing evidence that its practices met the standards of the US government, the EPA added.

Not affected by this decision are current contracts between the US and BP, which is among the most important suppliers to the US Defense Department.

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 killed 11 people and resulted in 4.9 million barrels of oil (at 159 litres a barrel) pouring in the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days, polluting wide areas of the US Gulf Coast.

On November 15, BP agreed to pay a fine of 4.5 billion dollars to the United States.

Court cases in connection with the disaster are continuing. Two of the highest-ranking supervisors on the Deepwater Horizon are to appear in court next year on 11 counts of manslaughter.

In addition, a formerly high-ranking BP manager is to appear in court accused of attempting to keep information of the accident from the US Congress and lying to investigators.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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