Judge Halts Oil, Gas Development On Chukchi Sea

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - (AP) A federal judge on Wednesday stopped companies from developing oil and gas wells on billions of dollars in leases off Alaska's northwest coast, saying the federal government failed to follow environmental law before it sold the drilling rights. The lease sale in February...

Company At Center Of Oil Leak Was Warned About Monitoring

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - (AP) A Canadian company whose pipeline leaked hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into a major Michigan river was warned by government regulators in January that its monitoring of corrosion in the pipeline was insufficient. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline...

Florida Developer Sues Halliburton Over Gulf Spill

NEW YORK - (AP) Florida real estate developer St. Joe Co. is suing Halliburton Co. over its role in the rig explosion that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. St. Joe said late Wednesday that Halliburton, which was responsible for encasing BP PLC's subsea well in cement. . . . Full...

Gulf Surface Cleaner, But Questions Lurk Far Below

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) Researchers are warning that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a bigger mess than the government claims and that a lot of crude is lurking deep below the surface, some of it settling perhaps in a critical undersea canyon off the Florida Panhandle. The evidence of microscopic amounts...

Jones Walker Expands Energy Industry Team

HOUSTON — Jones Walker has named Michael B. Donald, a partner in the firm's Houston office, and Marjorie A. McKeithen, of counsel in the firm's New Orleans office, co-chairs of the Energy Industry Team. The firm has combined attorneys from a number of practice areas who serve energy...

Gulf Waste Heads To Landfills, Some With Problems

NEW ORLEANS - (AP) The cleanup of history's worst peacetime oil spill is generating thousands of tons of oil-soaked debris that is ending up in local landfills, some of which were already dealing with environmental concerns. The soft, absorbent boom that has played the biggest role in containing...

Houston Law Firm Files Mass Injury Lawsuit Against BP Over Texas City Benzene Release

GALVESTON, Texas - The Vujasinovic & Beckcom law firm of Houston on Sept. 14 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on behalf of 120 people who were exposed to benzene that was released from British Petroleum's Texas City refinery from April 6 through May...

Feds Sued For Backing Off Fast-Track Drilling

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - (AP) A petroleum industry group has filed a lawsuit saying federal land managers lacked authority to stop fast-track approval of oil and gas drilling on public land in the West. The Western Energy Alliance filed the lawsuit on Oct. 21 in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne, alleging the...

Supreme Court Rejects Shell Appeal In Oklahoma Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY - (AP) The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to hear an appeal by Shell Oil Co. of a nearly $54 million jury award in an Oklahoma lawsuit . The court on Monday declined without comment to hear Shell's appeal that the award for punitive damages to oil and gas leaseholders. . . . Full version...

Chevron Countersues Ecuador Pollution Claimants

SAN RAMON, Calif. - (AP) Chevron Corp. on Tuesday filed a countersuit against trial lawyers and their consultants for what it says was a campaign to rig the Ecuadorean court system in a bid to win billions of dollars in a pollution claim. The step is the latest in an 18-year-old court battle. . . . Full...

Judge Halts Any Ecuadorean Pollution Award Against Chevron

NEW YORK - (AP) A federal judge took the unusual step Tuesday of blocking a potential multi-billion-dollar judgment against Chevron Corp. for environmental damage in Ecuador for at least 28 days after concluding that lawyers representing 30,000 Ecuadoreans were planning a "helter skelter" disruption...

Feds Investigate Texas Plant Fire That Killed 1

HOUSTON - (AP) Federal and state officials are investigating what caused a fire that killed one worker at a natural gas liquid plant east of Houston, a facility that since 2004 has paid thousands of dollars in fines for serious violations that included at least one other death. The latest incident. ...

Chevron Fined $8 billion For Oil Contamination In Ecuador

QUITO, Ecuador - (AP) An Ecuadorean judge ruled Monday that Chevron Corp. was responsible for oil contamination in a wide swath of Ecuador's northern jungle. The plaintiffs' attorney says the company was fined $8 billion. Chevron confirmed the ruling but not the amount of the fine. The company...

BP Says Oil Spill Claims Formula Is Too Generous

NEW ORLEANS - (AP) The administrator of the $20 billion fund for Gulf oil spill victims, under fire for red tape and delays, has been told by BP that his formula for determining final payments is actually too generous. A document purporting to be from a major business was posted on. . . . Full version...

Panel: BP Faulted Oil Rig Cement Work Years Before Gulf Blowout

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) Oil company BP had identified problems with work by its cement company long before the massive Gulf oil well blowout, which investigations have blamed on cement failing at the bottom of the hole, a presidential panel investigating the oil spill said Thursday. But BP apparently...

Chevron Asks Court To Block $9.5 Billion Award

NEW YORK - (AP) A Chevron Corp. lawyer said Friday that the company will not apologize for damage that an oil company it purchased is accused of causing to Ecuador's rainforest even though the refusal means a $9.5 billion judgment against it will nearly double within days. Attorney Randy Mastro instead...

Scientist Finds Gulf Bottom Still Oily, Dead

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor. That report is at odds. . . . Full version...

California Appeals Court Affirms $8 Million Benzene Injury Verdict

SAN FRANCISCO -- (Mealey's) A California appeals court has affirmed an $8 million judgment to a seaman who blamed benzene exposure aboard oil tankers for the loss of a kidney to cancer, saying Feb. 18 that scientific certainty is not required for a toxic tort plaintiff to prevail ( Mack Shelby v...

Supreme Court Rules Vaccine Lawsuits Are Federally Preempted

WASHINGTON, D.C. --(Mealey's) A 6-2 U.S. Supreme Court majority on Feb. 22 ruled that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA) preempts tort claims asserting design defect against vaccine manufacturers ( Russell Bruesewitz, et al. v. Wyeth LLC, et al. , No. 09-152, U.S. Sup.). ...

Native American Groups Sue To Stop Solar Projects

BLYTHE, Calif. - (AP) Native Americans are clashing with the federal government over plans to fast-track approval and construction of massive solar energy projects that the Indians fear will harm sacred and culturally significant sites in Western deserts. Recent lawsuits by two native groups pose a threat...

BP Agrees To $25 Million Penalty For 2006 Alaska Spills

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - (AP) BP's subsidiary in Alaska will pay a $25 million civil penalty under a settlement announced Tuesday that comes five years after more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from company pipelines on the North Slope. The penalty is the largest per barrel civil penalty assessed...