Deepwater Horizon

The US District Court in Louisiana has ordered Anadarko Petroleum to pay $160m for Clean Water Act violations that resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout disaster.

The order comes after the government told US district judge Carl Barbier that the company should be fined more than $1bn for its role in the well’s blowout.

Commenting on the court’s ruling, Anadarko Petroleum said in a statement: "Today’s ruling clearly shows that the court gave significant weight to its previous findings that as a non-operating investor in the Macondo Well, we had no role in the events that caused the tragic 2010 spill, and bear no fault.

"We are carefully evaluating our appellate options. However, today’s ruling is significant because it removes the uncertainty about the extent of our potential Deepwater Horizon liability."

In July, the company said it was awaiting the Clean Water Act ruling, which was still pending with judge Barbier’s court.

"This ruling is significant because it removes the uncertainty about the extent of our potential Deepwater Horizon liability."

The court previously found the company as a non-operator in the Macondo prospect and it had no role in the actions and decisions that caused the incident.

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The oil and gas Macondo prospect in the US Exclusive Economic Zone of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana was the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in April 2010 that resulted in a major oil spill in the region.

Anadarko Petroleum originally owned a 25% stake in the well, but transferred it to BP in October 2011 as part of a settlement between the companies.

On 20 April 2010, while drilling at the Macondo prospect, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon ultra-deepwater, semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig and killed 11 people.

Image: Deepwater Horizon rig in flames after the explosion. Photo: courtesy of Mark Miller.