• Associated Press, 11-8-12: BP to pay Alaska $225M for lost oil production
• Alaska Dispatch, 6-30-12: BP pulls back on offshore oil project in Alaska’s Arctic
• Associated Press, 4-18-12: BP cleaning up pipeline spill
More than six years after the biggest oil spill on land in Alaska history, BP agreed in November 2012 to pay the state $255 million for lost revenues while much of the Prudhoe Bay oil field was shut down after the pipeline leak.
The settlement was just the latest expenditure that BP was forced to make as a result of the March 2006 accident that dumped more than 216,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Alaskan tundra. The leak in BP’s pipeline from Prudhoe Bay was found to be badly corroded because of poor maintenance.
In 2011, BP agreed to pay a $25 million fine and make $60 million in infrastructure improvements to settle a long-running civil case with the federal government in the wake of the pipeline break. The plea agreement announced on May 3, 2011, pushed BP’s total expenses for the spill past $200 million, with most of the money going toward repairs on corroded pipelines and aging equipment on the North Slope, the nation’s most productive oil field.
BP also paid a $20 million fines and restitution to settle criminal charges from the March 2006 spill that led to a temporary shutdown of production on Prudhoe Bay, sending gasoline prices spiraling upward.
Under a 60-page agreement that BP signed in the federal case, the company must take numerous steps to upgrade its 1,600-mile pipeline system on the North Slope, such as developing of an “integrity management program” and adding an independent contractor to monitor the network for the government.
From the book:
Charles Hamel, meanwhile, could not resist the opportunity to tell the world, “I told you so.” On the eve of the House hearing, Hamel spoke at a luncheon at the National Press Club and hammered away at the oil company he had been prodding for decades.
“BP lies about everything,” Hamel said. “They lie even when they don’t have to lie.” He predicted that spills would plague Prudhoe Bay for years. “It’s like an old garden hose that leaks,” he said. “And a patchwork won’t fix it.”