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GULF SPILL:

BP agrees to 'game changer' $18.7B settlement with states

The $18.7 billion settlement agreement announced this morning for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill promises to set off an unprecedented effort to repair the Gulf of Mexico's marshes, fisheries and deep sea corals, but it will be, at best, only a first step toward restoring the long-ailing ecosystem, the region's environmentalists say.

The agreement in principle unveiled this morning by state officials, the Department of Justice and BP PLC includes $7.1 billion to repair natural resources damage caused by the spill. It also includes $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act fines, 80 percent of which will be sent back to the five Gulf states for ecological and economic recovery efforts thanks to the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act -- dubbed the RESTORE Act -- passed by Congress in 2012.

OFFSHORE DRILLING:

Mega-platform would significantly expand Shell's Gulf production

Royal Dutch Shell PLC will build its largest-ever platform in the Gulf of Mexico for a project that will expand its oil and gas production from federal U.S. offshore waters by more than 60 percent.

The supermajor yesterday issued notice of a final investment decision (FID) taken regarding the Appomattox and Vicksburg offshore Gulf oil fields. The finds were discovered in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

GULF SPILL:

Texas awards first round of federal offshore safety funding

The first disbursement of funds from the federal RESTORE Act have been disbursed to support university research on offshore science and safety, Texas officials said yesterday.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reported that more than $4 million would be allocated to two new separate research endeavors. The RESTORE Act, federal legislation meant to help Gulf of Mexico states recuperate from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, calls for the creation of research centers specializing in offshore drilling safety and Gulf environmental issues.

GULF SPILL:

Supreme Court refuses to consider BP's bid for reduced penalties

The Supreme Court today refused to consider BP PLC's bid to undercut the potential $13.7 billion in penalties it faces for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which may also be liable for a separate $1 billion penalty, claimed they are not directly responsible for the 4 million barrels of oil that was released in the April 2010 accident in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers.

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About this report

The sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst oil spill in U.S. history. E&E examines the response to the spill, the politics of offshore drilling, and the aftermath for Gulf species and industries.

Industry

Politics

Natural Resources

Response