bp maddog 2
BP conducts rig repairs at its Mad Dog oilfield in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012. The field is located about 190 miles  south of New Orleans and 150 miles southwest of Venice. The Mad Dog rig is in a depth of 5,000 to 7,000 feet of water and has the capacity to produce up to 80,000 barrels of oil and 40 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. (Photo courtesy BP)

Let’s face it: BP has some serious legal issues in Louisiana, where countless lawsuits have been filed over the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010, which occurred off the state’s coast.

Lawsuits come with the territory, as BP well understands, especially when you are responsible for largest oil spill in U.S. history that did immeasurable ecological damage to our coast and caused the death of 11 workers.

But despite its legal woes, BP’s Gulf of Mexico business is booming, its Gulf fleet its largest ever, reports Fuelfix.com in this story on the 4-year anniversary of the disaster:

BP has rebuilt its armada of deep-water drilling rigs to nearly double its size before April 20, 2010, fired up three big expansion projects since last April and in March reached a deal with the federal government to lift a 16-month suspension from entering into new federal contracts for leases in Gulf oil fields.

“We’re fully back in,” said Richard Morrison, regional president of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business, in a recent interview with FuelFix.

The bottom line is companies will go where there’s oil and gas, and there is an abundance of both in the Gulf. Operate safely and fulfill the obligations of your permit and it’s highly unlikely you will be sued.  

Here’s more from Fuelfix.com, which is anchored by business reporters at the Houston Chronicle and other Hearst newspapers:

The Gulf has become one of BP’s most profitable regions in the world, and the company has produced only about a fifth of the reserves from its four giant Gulf fields. Those, along with newly discovered ultradeep-water oil patches, “will keep our geologists and rigs busy for the next several decades,” Morrison said. “That’s why we have confidence in the future.”

... Still, BP continues to pour money into the region. In a federal auction last month, it spent $42 million to win 24 bids on new blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s on top of its 620 lease blocks there, the largest position of any company in the Gulf.

The company’s rebound in the Gulf, however, would not be possible without first prioritizing increased safety on its deep-water rigs, Morrison said.

BP, he said, has sharpened its safety procedures and organizational structures since 2011. Over the past four years, it has cut by 75 percent the number of accidents that harm crew members or damage equipment.

“It has been a long journey working through procedures and really getting systematic in how we approach our business,” Morrison said. “If you keep your operations running safely, you’ll keep them running well.”

Read the story here.

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