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Deepwater Horizon – BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
On April 20, 2010, the oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, operating in the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded and sank resulting in the death of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon and the largest spill of oil in the history of marine oil drilling operations. 4 million barrels of oil flowed from the damaged Macondo well over an 87-day period, before it was finally capped on July 15, 2010. On December 15, 2010, the United States filed a complaint in District Court against BP Exploration & Production and several other defendants alleged to be responsible for the spill.
This webpage provides information and materials on EPA’s enforcement response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, settlements with several of the defendants, including the record-setting settlement with BP Exploration & Production for an unprecedented $5.5 billion Clean Water Act penalty and up to $8.8 billion in natural resource damages.
This webpage is limited to EPA’s enforcement-related activities only, and does not cover all legal or other actions against BP Exploration & Production and other parties for the spill, such as private party/class action settlements for medical claims and economic damages, or other actions against those responsible for the spill. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has established the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill website for this purpose. In addition, links for additional information on the spill, cleanup activities and other responses are provided below.
On this page:
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Case and Settlement Information
- December 15, 2010: Civil complaint of the United States
- February 17, 2012: $90 million civil settlement with MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC
- February 22, 2012: Court order granting partial summary judgment of liability for the spill
- June 4, 2014: 5th Circuit decision affirming ruling on summary judgment - 5th Circuit Decision June 4, 2014
- November 5, 2014: 5th Circuit decision denying panel reconsideration and affirming summary judgment ruling - Nondispositive Panel Opinion
- January 9, 2015: 5th Circuit order denying petition for rehearing en banc - Deepwater Horizon order denying petition for rehearing en banc
- November 15, 2012: $4 billion criminal plea agreement with BP Exploration & Production Exit
- January 3, 2013: $1 billion civil settlement with Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., Transocean Deepwater Inc., Transocean Holdings LLC, and Triton Asset Leasing GmbH (“Transocean”)
- January 3, 2013: $400 million criminal plea agreement with Transocean Exit
- September 4, 2014: Phase One Trial: Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on Gross Negligence and Willful Misconduct
- January 15, 2015: Phase Two Trial: Findings of Fact on Source Control and the Amount of Oil Spilled
- February 19, 2015: Ruling on Maximum Dollars-Per-Barrel Penalty Amount, as Adjusted by the Penalty Inflation Act
- October 5, 2015: $14.9 billion civil settlement with BP Exploration & Production
Additional Information on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
- Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Planning
- RestoreTheGulf: official federal government site for spill response and recovery Exit
- Final Report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Exit
- Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation Team Exit