April 30th, 2010
06:21 PM ET

In ironic twist, BP finalist for pollution prevention award

Call it a tragic irony.

BP, now under federal scrutiny because of its role in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and oil spill, is one of three finalists for a federal award honoring offshore oil companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention."

The winner of the award - chosen before the April 20 oil rig incident - was to be announced this coming Monday at a luncheon in Houston. But the U.S. Department of Interior this week postponed the awards ceremony, saying it needs to devote its resources to the ongoing situation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and fire.

Eleven workers are presumed dead and an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil are leaking every day from the well. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service said she did not know which of the three finalists for the non-monetary award had been selected, nor did she say whether the current circumstances could influence the decision if BP was the winner. Winners of the award are kept secret until the ceremony, she said.

The floating Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and eventually sank 130 miles southeast of New Orleans is owned by Transocean Ltd., a Swiss company, but was under contract with BP. The U.S. Coast Guard has termed BP the "responsible party." In U.S. Coast Guard parlance, "responsible party" typically means the entity that owns the vessel that caused the spill and is responsible for responding to an incident.

It does not imply criminal negligence.

According to a Department of Interior's website, BP Exploration & Production Inc. is one of three finalists for a Safety Award for Excellence, which honors companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention performance by the offshore oil and gas industry." The other nominees are ExxonMobil Corp. and Eni US Operating Co. BP specifically was nominated in the High OCS Activity Operator category, for companies engaged in operations on the outer continental shelf.

The Minerals Management Service was to name the winner of the award at the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston next week. The annual award is an engraved plaque and a letter of citation, both signed by a Department of Interior official.

The awards program is intended to elevate awareness of safety and pollution and prevention, encourage voluntary compliance, educate the public and encourage excellence in safety and pollution prevention, the department says.

The program began in 1999, and is for a company's performance the previous year. British Petroleum has won the award once before, in 1992.

soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. Fred

    Obama LET this damage happen. It could have been prevented from reaching the shores, but he CHOSE not to stop it. But then he is involved with the company making the dispersants, he and his crony thugs.

    June 7, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Josh Reiter

    Oh I just love a BP oil spill post. It brings out all the loons that think our world's current standard of living and prosperity can be powered by magic Unicorn horns and leprechaun rainbows. All I see are a lot of people posting here that need to learn a thing or 2 about how to place things into proper perspectives. Back in 1979 there was a oil platform called the Ixtoc I that caused what is rated as the 3 largest oil spill in world history. This current BP spill doesn't even rate in the top 20 of worldwide oil spills. Yet, and YET, there is still a Gulf of Mexico full of little fishies and happy little birds flying around and the Gulf coast is still there and vibrant as ever. Do any of you all know that an estimated 20-50 million barrels of oil naturally seep from the ocean floor. Oil is a NATURAL substance people. There are microbes in the water that have specifically evolved at eating the oil and tar that floats around in the water. They have done it for millions of years and will certainly do it for many millions more. Plus, ultra-violet radiation from the Sun quickly degrades the volatiles in the Oil and the wave action of the water will disperse the oil within a relatively short period of time. Get A Grip people, jeez!

    June 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Brian Lewis Doylestown,

    Having spent years as an off shore helicopter pilot, I have been to hundreds of drilling rigs, production platforms, spars and ships, both domestically and internationally. There is a huge range in the quality of oil companies and that is quickly obvious when you fly to a "bottom feeder" company or a top level company. BP and Shell are leagues ahead in terms of safety and professionalism to almost all others.
    The cause of this disaster is not yet determined. Why are the media allowing these so called experts to practically force legal outcomes? It could be BP at fault, however the rig is Trans Ocean (also a good company to work with) as are the people actually doing the work. Why is there no one baying for their blood? The regulations in play in the U.S are in my experience quite lax, compared to international contracts I have been involved with. The "gold standard" is probably the North Sea standards, which mostly have been created by BP. For the record, I do not and have not worked for BP or have any of their stock.

    June 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Chad Esh

    I have been using biodiesel in my truck since the spill i can breath the fumes straight out my tail pipe and i get better milage and it costs 50cents less a gallon and if america switches to bio fuel then the money will switch from oil companys to farmers we can grow fuel and the byproduct is oxygen.

    July 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Grace Rodriguez

    once a week i use a roller skate as my exercise ~~:

    October 5, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. NLP Patterns ·

    roller skating is a very enjoying sports and past time too .

    November 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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