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Topics: Dolphin deaths investigated by Southern Miss marine scientists, Dolphin Deaths: BP Oil Spill May Have Contributed To High Mortality Rate, Study Finds, Piecing the Puzzle Together on Dolphin Deaths, Board: BP missed the big hazard issues in spill, Seven years after BP’s Texas City blast, industry still fights transparency | Loren Steffy, Alabama scientists, agencies seek role in spending of BP fines, NEW ORLEANS: System for stopping an oil spill is tested in Gulf, BP Posts Unexpectedly Large Loss, BP reports process unit trip at Cherry Point, WA, refinery, Russian court orders BP to pay $3.1 billion

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The Dauphin Island Sea Lab received a $5 million grant from BP to study the Gulf oil spill. in August 2010. The University of Southern Mississippi received $10 million from BP in June of 2010. The University of Central Florida received a part of a $10 million grant from BP to study the dolphin deaths. Even with the BP largesse the scientists couldn't manage to rule out BP's black monster as being at least partially responsible for the dolphin's deaths.

Purchased science leaves us all to wallow in our own ignorance. We are much the poorer for the fact that independent researchers were not afforded the opportunity to determine the causes for so many dolphin deaths.

Dolphin deaths investigated by Southern Miss marine scientists - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Posted: Jul 18, 2012 5:43 PM CDT  Updated: Jul 19, 2012 5:51 AM CDT

HATTIESBURG, MS - Scientists with The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science are part of a collaboration of colleagues from Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of Central Florida that last year examined a mysterious case of dolphin deaths along the Gulf Coast.

From January to April 2011, 186 dolphins washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida and are considered part of an "unusual mortality event" or UME by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Of particular concern among the scientists examining this issue is the high number of young dolphins making up nearly 46 percent of the deaths.
...
Although the strandings occurred shortly after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the acute cause of death remains undetermined.

"We believe several factors, including bacterial infections and a loss of prey during the oil spill, contributed to the poor health of these marine animals," said Dr. Monty Graham, chairman of the Southern Miss Department of Marine Sciences and a member of the consortium.

Graham and other consortium scientists examined condition and location of the dolphin carcasses, including the time frame of their stranding. The number of ‘perinatal' (near birth) dolphins stranded during this four-month period is six times higher than the average number of perinatal strandings in the region since 2003, and nearly double the historical percentage of all strandings.

Following a particularly cold winter and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the sudden entry of high volumes of cold freshwater from Mobile Bay imposed additional stress on the ecosystem. Onshore movement of surface currents during the same period resulted in animals washing ashore where freshwater pules called "freshlets" were most intense.

The researchers contend the dolphins were unable to swim away from the cold freshwater because of their compromised health.




The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (No Oil At All) took full charge of the research into the Dolphin deaths very early on. They have a history of aggressively trying to pretend there was no BP oil to be found and the research was done by institutions who have recently taken millions in grants from BP.

While the study's conclusions although sound plausible we should all remain skeptical about paid for science. No doubt BP will use the findings to weasel their way through the legal system to escape 100% of their responsibility for the dolphin deaths. h/t marsanges, Yasuragi, Lorinda Pike

Dolphin Deaths: BP Oil Spill May Have Contributed To High Mortality Rate, Study Finds

Posted: 07/20/2012 2:38 pm

The 2010 BP oil spill contributed to an unusually high death rate for dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study suggests.

Between January and April 2011, 186 dead bottlenose dolphins washed ashore between Louisiana and western Florida. Most alarmingly, nearly half of these casualties were calves, which is more than double the usual proportion of young to old dolphins found dead. Scientists now blame both natural factors and human catastrophe for the unusual die-off.

"Unfortunately, it was a 'perfect storm' that led to the dolphin deaths," study researcher Graham Worthy, a biologist at the University of Central Florida, said in a statement. "The oil spill and cold water of 2010 had already put significant stress on their food resources. … It appears the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from snowmelt water that pushed through Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound in 2011 was the final blow."
...
Normally, the researchers wrote, dolphins are able to withstand fluctuating temperatures. But a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) survey of Louisiana dolphins in 2011 found that the animals were overwhelmingly underweight and anemic, suggesting that they were already struggling before the cold water rushed into their habitat.

Stress on wildlife

The findings suggest, but don't prove, that the BP oil spill may have helped weaken the dolphins before the cold influx of early 2011 began, the researchers report. There is evidence that the oil spill affected the dolphin food chain, making prey scarce in the midst of the breeding season, they wrote.

Study leader Ruth Carmichael, a marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said the combined factors led to distinct patterns in how the dolphins washed ashore.

"When we put the pieces together, it appears that the dolphins were likely weakened by depleted food resources, bacteria or other factors as a result of the 2010 cold winter or oil spill, which made them susceptible to assault by the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from land in 2011," Carmichael said in a statement.




Unsurprisingly the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (No Oil At All) refuses to acknowledge any link whatsoever between the huge number of dolphin deaths and the BP oil spill keeping their track record of covering BP's hind end perfect. The concept of healthy dolphins being perfectly capable of swimming away from unusually cold waters seems to elude the BP fanboys at No Oil At All. h/t marsanges, Yasuragi, Lorinda Pike

Piecing the Puzzle Together on Dolphin Deaths

July 20, 2012, 7:36 AM

Unusually cold water in the Gulf of Mexico combined with damage to the food web from the BP oil spill probably caused the premature deaths of hundreds of dolphins in the region, a new report concludes.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, suggests that a perfect storm of events led to the deaths. The researchers cited three specific stresses: an unusually cold winter in 2010, the oil spill from April to July of 2010 and an unusually large and rapid flow of very cold freshwater from melting snows in January 2011. Such cold water would have been tolerable to healthy dolphins, they suggested, but many of the dolphins in the northern Gulf were unhealthy and had thin blubber layers.

Graham A.J. Worthy, a biologist and contributing author from the University of Central Florida, said the study was not definitively linking the deaths to the oil spill but seeking to assemble the various pieces of the puzzle. “Everything ultimately seems to be linked back to poor body condition,” he said. “So what would cause poor body condition?”

“What we do know was that there was a cold winter in 2010 which might have affected dolphin food resources, and the BP oil spill occurred in 2010, and there is increasing evidence of spill materials entering coastal ecosystems and negatively impacting the food web,” he said.

The report was produced by a team of scientists from half a dozen Southern universities and research institutes, including the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of Central Florida, that have been studying the dolphin deaths for two years.

So far the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stopped short of linking the dolphin deaths directly to the spill. But in March the agency released a report on autopsies on 32 dolphins from Barataria Bay off Louisiana, which was hit hard by the spill.

The necropsies showed that the dolphins had low amounts of a stress hormone, indicating adrenal insufficiency, which has been associated with oil contamination among mammals in other studies.

Teri Rowles, the coordinator of the National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program at NOAA’s Fisheries Service, said the agency would review the paper but had yet to come to any conclusion about the role of the oil spill in dolphin deaths. “We are still evaluating contributing factors and causes of this event,” she said.




There is a considerable backstory to the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) BP investigation. CSB is a small, quiet investigative agency that has no power to regulate. From what little I've seen of their reports they do excellent work and give the taxpayer a huge bang for their buck. Previously CSB found BP cost cutting contributory to the BP's Texas City explosion that killed 15 and injured 170.

During the blowout preventer (BOP) autopsy the CSB raised Cain about Det Norske Veritas (DNV) being given the contract for the BOP autopsy because of serious conflicts of interest.

In 2007, DNV inspected and recertified the Deepwater Horizon's safety procedures. In 2009, Transocean hired DNV to do a study of the reliability of subsea blowout preventers. That same year, DNV named a Transocean vice president, N. Pharr Smith, to be chairman of DNV's rig owners' committee, which provides "input" to DNV's rule-making process.
CSB also raised objections to DNV subsequently hiring Owen McWhorter, previously employed on the Deepwater Horizon as a subsea supervisor, to "assist" in the BOP autopsy. CSB won that round and the Interior Department told DNV to let McWhorter go.

During the brouhaha the Interior Department and Coast Guard, being their normal industry lapdog selves, joined DNV in trying to limit CSB's access to the BOP during the autopsy.

CSB also took a dim view of allowing Cameron employees, the BOP's manufacturer, to have hands-on access to the BOP prior to the autopsy.

The Chemical Safety Board’s managing director, Daniel Horowitz, said there is no evidence that the pod flushing could only be performed by a Cameron employee and stressed that “the computer, software and procedure could be provided to a neutral third party for execution.”

“This is the norm for every forensic test the CSB is familiar with, and to suggest otherwise indicates a lack of familiarity with how post-accident forensic testing is properly conducted,” Horowitz added.

It should have come as no surprise that the quality of the final autopsy report missed the stellar mark by a long shot. An attorney for Cameron questioned the project manager for DNV, Neil Thompson, who admitted that the model used for the DNV's BOP analysis contained a fatal flaw. Thompson also said he'd "never laid eyes on a blowout preventer" before the BOP autopsy. Credibility for the DNV autopsy went downhill from there.

The point of my meandering down memory lane is to illustrate that the CSB findings should be given a whole lot more credibility than those of its federal agency brethren who never show the slightest embarrassment about serving their corporate overlords rather than concerning themselves with the public's best interests. The National Academy of Engineering is another standout in following the facts rather than the money and politics.  h/t greenbird
Board: BP missed the big hazard issues in spill

Updated 03:34 p.m., Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HOUSTON (AP) — BP and the drilling contractor that operated the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon were so focused on worker safety they didn't do enough to prevent major hazards, such as the 2010 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people, federal investigators said Tuesday.

The preliminary findings were presented by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, a panel that often probes industry accidents but does not have regulatory authority.

The panel listed a litany of problems large and small they had already uncovered even though it has not received all of the records from Transocean, the drilling contractor that has challenged the board's right to investigate the offshore incident.

Among the panel's findings:

— BP and Transocean's "bridging document," designed to align safety procedures between the companies, was generic and addressed only six safety issues, but none of them dealt with major issues.

— The companies didn't have key process limits or controls for safe drilling.

— There were no written instructions for how to conduct a crucial test at the end of the cementing process, one that ultimately was misinterpreted by the crew after it was conducted several times, each time differently.

— Similar concerns about too narrow a focus on personal safety were raised after an explosion in 2005 at BP's Texas City refinery that killed 15 people, but few of the panel's recommendations were implemented on the offshore rig.

"It's always puzzled me why a company like BP ... that has major resources available ... is involved with two of the biggest accidents," said John Bresland, a member of the board who is wrapping up his second five-year term and was involved in both investigations.

The panel noted the focus on personal injuries at the expense of the larger risks associated with drilling appears to infect the entire industry.

Even after the catastrophic blowout on the Deepwater Horizon that caused the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, oil executives used low personal injury rates to highlight the industry's safety record, the investigators concluded in their 50-page Power Point presentation.

The panel found that the intense focus on personal safety has led to "complacency on major hazards," panel member Cheryl MacKenzie said.
...
In its final report, the panel plans to address well bore control and other issues that proved to be problematic aboard the Deepwater Horizon and have been focal points in other investigations.

The safety board said when BP looked at offshore endeavors it "focused on financial risks, not process safety risks." And after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the company's own accident investigation report "recommended requiring hazard reviews of BP-owned and contracted rigs," the safety board's presentation says.

"That's very disturbing because the Gulf of Mexico belongs to the American people," said former Sen. Bob Graham, a Democrat, who co-chaired a different government oil spill investigation, one appointed by President Barack Obama.

"If that's true, it's reprehensible," Graham said.
...
The board also had to push to gain access to examine the blowout preventer, and at one point demanded that the analysis stop, saying representatives of the companies that made and maintained the 300-ton device had been getting preferential and sometimes hands-on access to it.




The Chemical Safety Board finds that industry still falls short on safety even after the horrendously tragic Texas City BP refinery explosion. If industry can not be trusted to safely operate such a long-established technology as oil refining why in heaven's name should a rational human being trust them to run a bleeding edge endeavor such as deepwater drilling. I've heard more than one rocket scientist comment that deepwater technology can be more challenging at times than space technology.
Seven years after BP’s Texas City blast, industry still fights transparency | Loren Steffy | a Chron.com blog
Posted by Loren Steffy on July 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Despite adopting new rules designed to reduce catastrophic accidents that can lead to the loss of lives, the energy industry continues to oppose transparency that could make operations safer. That was the theme of today’s discussion at a two-day public hearing by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Tomorrow, the board will release its preliminary findings on the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which will show that BP and other companies failed to take the safety lessons from BP’s fatal Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 and apply them to offshore drilling.

Today, the CSB examined the industry’s compliance with its recommendations for the refining industry after the Texas City blast. The hearing comes just weeks after BP agreed to pay another $13 million to resolve safety violation that federal inspectors found at the plant in 2009 – four years after the blast that killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 others.

BP had previously paid $50.6 million in 2010 and $21.3 million in 2005 for earlier violations at the plant.

Much of today’s discussion involved the analysis of leading and lagging indicators of impending catastrophe.  Leading indicators, of course, have the best chance of helping to identify a problem before it happens, but the industry hasn’t embraced any standardized method for tracking them, said Manuel Gomez, the CSB’s director of recommendations.

Leading indicators are used effectively to help reduce accidents in other parts of the world and often by companies who also operate in the U.S., CSB investigations superviser Don Holmstrom said.

So far, in adopting its new standards, the refining industry hasn’t said if the collection of such information would be made public.

The new standards were developed for the American Petroleum Institute by a panel dominated by management, Gomez said. It received little input from workers, regulators, environmental groups or scientists, Gomez noted.

CSB senior investigator Bill Hoyle noted that prior to the 2005 explosion BP had eight instances of volatile gases being released from the same unit where the blast began, yet under the new standards, such incidents wouldn’t have to be reported.
...




I'll be cheering the Alabama scientific and environmental communities on but I'm not at all optimistic that very much of the money coming to Alabama will be actually going to repair the damage caused by BP's black monster. Without federal strings it is much more likely to be used for boondoggles to further politicians' ambitions.
Alabama scientists, agencies seek role in spending of BP fines
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 6:01 PM     Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 6:27 PM
A boat navigates a metal oil boom at Perdido Pass in Orange Beach in July 2010 after the April 2010 BP oil spill. (Press-Register/Mike Kittrell)

MOBILE, Alabama -- Though it may be years before most of the environmental restoration funds related to the BP oil spill become available, scientists and local environmental groups in Alabama are in general agreement about where to spend the money.

The only problem is that neither scientists nor environmental groups have a formal role in deciding how the potentially billions of dollars in fine money will be spent in Alabama.

Instead, a group headed up by Gov. Robert Bentley and Jimmy Lyons, director of the Alabama State Port Authority, will make those choices. The governor’s office declined to comment on how restoration projects would be selected.

While decisions about where to spend the BP fine money will be made by state environmental agencies in Louisiana and Mississippi, the final version of the RESTORE Act passed by Congress created a different system for Alabama.

Outside of Lyons, the rest of the State of Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council consists of local elected officials in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Included are the mayors of Mobile, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Fairhope, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, and members of the Baldwin and Mobile County commissions.

The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP to the Gulf states, with the lion’s share going to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Estimates of the total payout range from $5 billion to $20 billion. The act also requires that the public be allowed to provide input during the project selection process.

Casi Callaway, director of Mobile Baykeeper, made a presentation to the Baldwin County Commission on Tuesday morning outlining the group’s vision of the top priorities for coastal restoration. Callaway said the recommendations represented a consensus reached by a variety of groups including the Nature Conservancy, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

The priorities include spending $100 million on the 100/1000 project to create 100 miles of oyster reefs and 1,000 acres of marsh habitat, $42 million for efforts to restore D’Olive Creek and other damaged watersheds, $70 million to restore tidal flow between Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, $250 million to purchase land along the coast, and $7.5 million to monitor conditions in the Gulf.

“We want the council to come up with a matrix, a decision-making tool, that will be used to select the projects. It needs to be done in a way the public can see and understand,” Callaway said. “What we want to avoid is a situation where they just divvy the money up among the different cities. We need a comprehensive approach to coastal restoration in Alabama.”

The scientists also lamented the lack of basic research in the Gulf, a data gap that became apparent during the oil spill, and resulted in some hysterical predictions about the potential impact of the spill.

“Oyster reef restoration and wetland restoration are very important. And, they are no-brainers because no one disputes that both habitats are way lower in abundance than they once were,” Valentine said. They also have a profound influence on the overall health of the Mobile Bay system.

“All of the projects we are talking about will create jobs. People have to do this work,” Valentine said. “The things we are proposing are the things that will help restore Mobile Bay. They’ve all been vetted and will make a difference. We need to take advantage of this opportunity.”




It's sadly typical that there is no mention in the news coverage that putting pressure on a well with a damaged formation poses an extremely high risk of blowing the formation out completely. I've heard more than one expert state that much of oil in the Gulf is found in brittle geological formations.

Also, without any truly independent verification I wouldn't trust the test results as far as I could through a BP deep sea drilling platform. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is in the Interior Department which has reliably shown itself to be little more than an industry cheerleader.

NEW ORLEANS: System for stopping an oil spill is tested in Gulf

Posted on Tuesday, 07.24.12

NEW ORLEANS -- The first deep-sea test of a state-of-the-art containment system for stopping an oil spill akin to BP's catastrophic 2010 spill began on Tuesday, regulators said.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the Houston-based Marine Well Containment Company was to move a capping stack system it has developed onto a ship and carry it out to where a test wellhead has been placed on the bottom of the Gulf. The stack will be lowered by wires onto the test wellhead sitting 7,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf.

BSEE staff - including inspectors, engineers and spill response experts - planned to monitor the drill and see firsthand how it is conducted, regulators said.

After the spill, several large oil companies set up the Marine Well Containment Company to prove the industry could control a deep-sea oil spill. It was a condition the industry had to meet before regulators would begin re-issuing deep-water drilling permits. Regulators began issuing permits in early 2011.

On Tuesday, Chauntra Rideaux, a BSEE spokeswoman, said the location of the test wellhead could not be disclosed immediately. She said doing so might undermine the test. She added that the agency planned to release more details about the exercise at a later date. An oil company was involved in the test too, but Rideaux said the agency could not yet release the name of the company.

Once the containment system is in place, regulators say the wellhead and capping stack will be pressurized to see how they handle conditions that would be experienced in the event of a real oil spill. Rideaux said there would be no release of fluids in the exercise.

This new capping stack is capable of containing up to 4.2 million gallons of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, according to MWCC.

BP's out-of-control well was 5,000 feet deep and this test wellhead is even deeper at 7,000 feet. Also, this stack is capable of containing a higher flow of oil than what gushed out of the Macondo well. BP lowered its stack with pipes and this one will be dropped using wires. Regulators said it might be faster to use wires.




It's nice to see a little bad karma coming Dudley-Do-Wrong's way but horrifying that he still thinks that BP is even remotely competent to do high-risk drilling. Willful ignorance and bald-faced lying seem to be BP's primary job requirements for its execs.
BP Posts Unexpectedly Large Loss
Published: July 31, 2012

LONDON — BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, reported a $1.4 billion loss Tuesday for the three-month period ended June 30. The main reason for the loss was $4.8 billion in write-downs on refineries, shale gas assets in the United States and a long-delayed project in Alaska.

The earnings will do nothing to assuage the concerns of investors, who are already discontented with the performance of the company and its chief executive, Bob Dudley. BP’s share price was down 4 percent in afternoon trading in London.

“This is a very, very disappointing set of results; they missed across all fronts by a wide margin,” said Peter Hutton, an oil analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London. Stripping out the $4.8 billion in write-downs, BP’s results were still 17 percent below the consensus estimates of analysts, Mr. Hutton said.

Mr. Hutton said that to convince investors he is on the right track, Mr. Dudley needs to demonstrate that costly shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP has much of its most profitable oil, are nearing an end.

The Gulf of Mexico has been a two-edged sword for BP. The 2010 spill has already cost the company $38 billion in charges, including another $847 million this quarter, and even threatened its existence at one point. But BP has also been the leader in developing deep water oil fields in the Gulf, and these properties produce some of the most profitable oil in the company’s portfolio. Production in the Gulf has dropped sharply in the past two years because of the need for repairs and a halt to drilling that is now resuming. Its oil production in the United States was down a huge 25 percent compared with a year earlier to just 350 million barrels per day.

In a telephone call with reporters, Mr. Dudley said two major Gulf of Mexico oil fields, Mad Dog and Atlantis, which he said were among “the most profitable fields in the world,” had been shut for major repairs. BP has been replacing the subsea infrastructure of Atlantis, which has long been the target of safety critics. BP production in the Gulf of Mexico was down 85,000 barrels per day in the quarter, according to a spokesman, Robert Wine, who said that the two fields would be coming back in the second half of this year and that a new field, Galapagos, was ramping up.

Mr. Dudley is trying to use the Gulf of Mexico disaster as an opportunity to streamline BP into a smaller but more profitable company. He wants to focus on high-risk, high-return exploration and difficult megaprojects like those in deep water. Since the beginning of 2010 BP has sold about $24 billion worth of oil fields and other assets that it deems nonstrategic and plans for the total to reach $38 billion by the end of 2013.. It has cut overall production, excluding its TNK-BP Russian affiliate, to about 2.3 million barrels per day from about 3 million barrels per day in 2009. “It is going to be value over volume,” Mr. Dudley said.

BP’s share in TNK-BP accounts for about 30 percent of the British company’s oil production, but the markets and the company have come to see the Russian affiliate as a dead end. The partners block BP from other Russian investments, and BP receives little benefit in its own stock price, analysts say.

Mr. Dudley acknowledged that no matter what he does, investors will be nervous until they see a resolution of the Russian situation and more clarity on how much BP will need to pay the U.S. government and other entities for the 2010 spill. The court case that is to decide on those liabilities has been postponed until 2013, but Mr. Dudley said BP was amenable to a fair and reasonable settlement.
...




Although it is much more newsworthy when any of BP's refineries are functioning properly and not polluting here is another entry in the seemingly endless list of incidents where BP refineries spew their filth.
BP reports process unit trip at Cherry Point, WA, refinery
July 31 | Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:28am BST

(Reuters) - BP Plc reported that a process unit had tripped releasing sulfur dioxide at its 225,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Cherry Point, Washington, refinery on Monday.

The company said in a filing with regulators that it had reduced and minimized rates and stabilized the process unit to get it back to normal. It said it did not know the cause of the incident.




I would expect that the chances of anyone in Russia recovering a dime that BP already has in its grubby pockets is slim to none with Slim setting land speed records getting out of town. However, it always makes me smile to see the Russian oligarchs causing BP grief and I'm hoping that Exxon Mobil will suffer a similar fate.
Russian court orders BP to pay $3.1 billion
Posted on July 27, 2012

MOSCOW (AP) — An arbitration court in Siberia ruled Friday that British oil giant BP should pay $3.1 billion in compensation to its Russian joint venture TNK-BP over a failed attempt to form an alliance with Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft.

BP's spokesman in Russia, Vladimir Buyanov told The Associated Press that it considers the ruling by the Tyumen Region Arbitration Court unfair and will appeal it.

The verdict came in response to a lawsuit launched last year by Andrei Prokhorov, a minority shareholder of TNK-BP.

The multibillion-dollar Arctic deal between BP and Rosneft collapsed last year after Russian TNK-BP shareholders contested it. They claimed that BP was breaking TNK-BP's shareholder agreement by entering into a deal without the venture's knowledge or consent.

After its prospective deal with BP fell through, Rosneft teamed up with U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil to explore for and produce oil in the Arctic and the Black Sea.
...




The Dauphin Island Sea Lab received a $5 million grant from BP to study the Gulf oil spill. in August 2010. The University of Southern Mississippi received $10 million from BP in June of 2010. The University of Central Florida received a part of a $10 million grant from BP to study the dolphin deaths. Even with the BP largesse the scientists couldn't manage to rule out BP's black monster as being at least partially responsible for the dolphin's deaths.

Purchased science leaves us all to wallow in our own ignorance. We are much the poorer for the fact that independent researchers were not afforded the opportunity to determine the causes for so many dolphin deaths.

Dolphin deaths investigated by Southern Miss marine scientists - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Posted: Jul 18, 2012 5:43 PM CDT  Updated: Jul 19, 2012 5:51 AM CDT

HATTIESBURG, MS - Scientists with The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science are part of a collaboration of colleagues from Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of Central Florida that last year examined a mysterious case of dolphin deaths along the Gulf Coast.

From January to April 2011, 186 dolphins washed ashore from Louisiana to western Florida and are considered part of an "unusual mortality event" or UME by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Of particular concern among the scientists examining this issue is the high number of young dolphins making up nearly 46 percent of the deaths.
...
Although the strandings occurred shortly after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the acute cause of death remains undetermined.

"We believe several factors, including bacterial infections and a loss of prey during the oil spill, contributed to the poor health of these marine animals," said Dr. Monty Graham, chairman of the Southern Miss Department of Marine Sciences and a member of the consortium.

Graham and other consortium scientists examined condition and location of the dolphin carcasses, including the time frame of their stranding. The number of ‘perinatal' (near birth) dolphins stranded during this four-month period is six times higher than the average number of perinatal strandings in the region since 2003, and nearly double the historical percentage of all strandings.

Following a particularly cold winter and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the sudden entry of high volumes of cold freshwater from Mobile Bay imposed additional stress on the ecosystem. Onshore movement of surface currents during the same period resulted in animals washing ashore where freshwater pules called "freshlets" were most intense.

The researchers contend the dolphins were unable to swim away from the cold freshwater because of their compromised health.
...TR>




The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (No Oil At All) took full charge of the research into the Dolphin deaths very early on. They have a history of aggressively trying to pretend there was no BP oil to be found and the research was done by institutions who have recently taken millions in grants from BP.

While the study's conclusions although sound plausible we should all remain skeptical about paid for science. No doubt BP will use the findings to weasel their way through the legal system to escape 100% of their responsibility for the dolphin deaths. h/t marsanges, Yasuragi, Lorinda Pike

Dolphin Deaths: BP Oil Spill May Have Contributed To High Mortality Rate, Study Finds

Posted: 07/20/2012 2:38 pm

The 2010 BP oil spill contributed to an unusually high death rate for dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico, a new study suggests.

Between January and April 2011, 186 dead bottlenose dolphins washed ashore between Louisiana and western Florida. Most alarmingly, nearly half of these casualties were calves, which is more than double the usual proportion of young to old dolphins found dead. Scientists now blame both natural factors and human catastrophe for the unusual die-off.

"Unfortunately, it was a 'perfect storm' that led to the dolphin deaths," study researcher Graham Worthy, a biologist at the University of Central Florida, said in a statement. "The oil spill and cold water of 2010 had already put significant stress on their food resources. … It appears the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from snowmelt water that pushed through Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound in 2011 was the final blow."
...
Normally, the researchers wrote, dolphins are able to withstand fluctuating temperatures. But a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) survey of Louisiana dolphins in 2011 found that the animals were overwhelmingly underweight and anemic, suggesting that they were already struggling before the cold water rushed into their habitat.

Stress on wildlife

The findings suggest, but don't prove, that the BP oil spill may have helped weaken the dolphins before the cold influx of early 2011 began, the researchers report. There is evidence that the oil spill affected the dolphin food chain, making prey scarce in the midst of the breeding season, they wrote.

Study leader Ruth Carmichael, a marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said the combined factors led to distinct patterns in how the dolphins washed ashore.

"When we put the pieces together, it appears that the dolphins were likely weakened by depleted food resources, bacteria or other factors as a result of the 2010 cold winter or oil spill, which made them susceptible to assault by the high volumes of cold freshwater coming from land in 2011," Carmichael said in a statement.




Unsurprisingly the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (No Oil At All) refuses to acknowledge any link whatsoever between the huge number of dolphin deaths and the BP oil spill keeping their track record of covering BP's hind end perfect. The concept of healthy dolphins being perfectly capable of swimming away from unusually cold waters seems to elude the BP fanboys at No Oil At All. h/t marsanges, Yasuragi, Lorinda Pike

Piecing the Puzzle Together on Dolphin Deaths

July 20, 2012, 7:36 AM

Unusually cold water in the Gulf of Mexico combined with damage to the food web from the BP oil spill probably caused the premature deaths of hundreds of dolphins in the region, a new report concludes.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, suggests that a perfect storm of events led to the deaths. The researchers cited three specific stresses: an unusually cold winter in 2010, the oil spill from April to July of 2010 and an unusually large and rapid flow of very cold freshwater from melting snows in January 2011. Such cold water would have been tolerable to healthy dolphins, they suggested, but many of the dolphins in the northern Gulf were unhealthy and had thin blubber layers.

Graham A.J. Worthy, a biologist and contributing author from the University of Central Florida, said the study was not definitively linking the deaths to the oil spill but seeking to assemble the various pieces of the puzzle. “Everything ultimately seems to be linked back to poor body condition,” he said. “So what would cause poor body condition?”

“What we do know was that there was a cold winter in 2010 which might have affected dolphin food resources, and the BP oil spill occurred in 2010, and there is increasing evidence of spill materials entering coastal ecosystems and negatively impacting the food web,” he said.

The report was produced by a team of scientists from half a dozen Southern universities and research institutes, including the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the University of Central Florida, that have been studying the dolphin deaths for two years.

So far the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has stopped short of linking the dolphin deaths directly to the spill. But in March the agency released a report on autopsies on 32 dolphins from Barataria Bay off Louisiana, which was hit hard by the spill.

The necropsies showed that the dolphins had low amounts of a stress hormone, indicating adrenal insufficiency, which has been associated with oil contamination among mammals in other studies.

Teri Rowles, the coordinator of the National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program at NOAA’s Fisheries Service, said the agency would review the paper but had yet to come to any conclusion about the role of the oil spill in dolphin deaths. “We are still evaluating contributing factors and causes of this event,” she said.




There is a considerable backstory to the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) BP investigation. CSB is a small, quiet investigative agency that has no power to regulate. From what little I've seen of their reports they do excellent work and give the taxpayer a huge bang for their buck. Previously CSB found BP cost cutting contributory to the BP's Texas City explosion that killed 15 and injured 170.

During the blowout preventer (BOP) autopsy the CSB raised Cain about Det Norske Veritas (DNV) being given the contract for the BOP autopsy because of serious conflicts of interest.

In 2007, DNV inspected and recertified the Deepwater Horizon's safety procedures. In 2009, Transocean hired DNV to do a study of the reliability of subsea blowout preventers. That same year, DNV named a Transocean vice president, N. Pharr Smith, to be chairman of DNV's rig owners' committee, which provides "input" to DNV's rule-making process.
CSB also raised objections to DNV subsequently hiring Owen McWhorter, previously employed on the Deepwater Horizon as a subsea supervisor, to "assist" in the BOP autopsy. CSB won that round and the Interior Department told DNV to let McWhorter go.

During the brouhaha the Interior Department and Coast Guard, being their normal industry lapdog selves, joined DNV in trying to limit CSB's access to the BOP during the autopsy.

CSB also took a dim view of allowing Cameron employees, the BOP's manufacturer, to have hands-on access to the BOP prior to the autopsy.

The Chemical Safety Board’s managing director, Daniel Horowitz, said there is no evidence that the pod flushing could only be performed by a Cameron employee and stressed that “the computer, software and procedure could be provided to a neutral third party for execution.”

“This is the norm for every forensic test the CSB is familiar with, and to suggest otherwise indicates a lack of familiarity with how post-accident forensic testing is properly conducted,” Horowitz added.

It should have come as no surprise that the quality of the final autopsy report missed the stellar mark by a long shot. An attorney for Cameron questioned the project manager for DNV, Neil Thompson, who admitted that the model used for the DNV's BOP analysis contained a fatal flaw. Thompson also said he'd "never laid eyes on a blowout preventer" before the BOP autopsy. Credibility for the DNV autopsy went downhill from there.

The point of my meandering down memory lane is to illustrate that the CSB findings should be given a whole lot more credibility than those of its federal agency brethren who never show the slightest embarrassment about serving their corporate overlords rather than concerning themselves with the public's best interests. The National Academy of Engineering is another standout in following the facts rather than the money and politics.  h/t greenbird
Board: BP missed the big hazard issues in spill

Updated 03:34 p.m., Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HOUSTON (AP) — BP and the drilling contractor that operated the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon were so focused on worker safety they didn't do enough to prevent major hazards, such as the 2010 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people, federal investigators said Tuesday.

The preliminary findings were presented by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, a panel that often probes industry accidents but does not have regulatory authority.

The panel listed a litany of problems large and small they had already uncovered even though it has not received all of the records from Transocean, the drilling contractor that has challenged the board's right to investigate the offshore incident.

Among the panel's findings:

— BP and Transocean's "bridging document," designed to align safety procedures between the companies, was generic and addressed only six safety issues, but none of them dealt with major issues.

— The companies didn't have key process limits or controls for safe drilling.

— There were no written instructions for how to conduct a crucial test at the end of the cementing process, one that ultimately was misinterpreted by the crew after it was conducted several times, each time differently.

— Similar concerns about too narrow a focus on personal safety were raised after an explosion in 2005 at BP's Texas City refinery that killed 15 people, but few of the panel's recommendations were implemented on the offshore rig.

"It's always puzzled me why a company like BP ... that has major resources available ... is involved with two of the biggest accidents," said John Bresland, a member of the board who is wrapping up his second five-year term and was involved in both investigations.

The panel noted the focus on personal injuries at the expense of the larger risks associated with drilling appears to infect the entire industry.

Even after the catastrophic blowout on the Deepwater Horizon that caused the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, oil executives used low personal injury rates to highlight the industry's safety record, the investigators concluded in their 50-page Power Point presentation.

The panel found that the intense focus on personal safety has led to "complacency on major hazards," panel member Cheryl MacKenzie said.
...
In its final report, the panel plans to address well bore control and other issues that proved to be problematic aboard the Deepwater Horizon and have been focal points in other investigations.

The safety board said when BP looked at offshore endeavors it "focused on financial risks, not process safety risks." And after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the company's own accident investigation report "recommended requiring hazard reviews of BP-owned and contracted rigs," the safety board's presentation says.

"That's very disturbing because the Gulf of Mexico belongs to the American people," said former Sen. Bob Graham, a Democrat, who co-chaired a different government oil spill investigation, one appointed by President Barack Obama.

"If that's true, it's reprehensible," Graham said.
...
The board also had to push to gain access to examine the blowout preventer, and at one point demanded that the analysis stop, saying representatives of the companies that made and maintained the 300-ton device had been getting preferential and sometimes hands-on access to it.




The Chemical Safety Board finds that industry still falls short on safety even after the horrendously tragic Texas City BP refinery explosion. If industry can not be trusted to safely operate such a long-established technology as oil refining why in heaven's name should a rational human being trust them to run a bleeding edge endeavor such as deepwater drilling. I've heard more than one rocket scientist comment that deepwater technology can be more challenging at times than space technology.
Seven years after BP’s Texas City blast, industry still fights transparency | Loren Steffy | a Chron.com blog
Posted by Loren Steffy on July 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Despite adopting new rules designed to reduce catastrophic accidents that can lead to the loss of lives, the energy industry continues to oppose transparency that could make operations safer. That was the theme of today’s discussion at a two-day public hearing by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Tomorrow, the board will release its preliminary findings on the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which will show that BP and other companies failed to take the safety lessons from BP’s fatal Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 and apply them to offshore drilling.

Today, the CSB examined the industry’s compliance with its recommendations for the refining industry after the Texas City blast. The hearing comes just weeks after BP agreed to pay another $13 million to resolve safety violation that federal inspectors found at the plant in 2009 – four years after the blast that killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 others.

BP had previously paid $50.6 million in 2010 and $21.3 million in 2005 for earlier violations at the plant.

Much of today’s discussion involved the analysis of leading and lagging indicators of impending catastrophe.  Leading indicators, of course, have the best chance of helping to identify a problem before it happens, but the industry hasn’t embraced any standardized method for tracking them, said Manuel Gomez, the CSB’s director of recommendations.

Leading indicators are used effectively to help reduce accidents in other parts of the world and often by companies who also operate in the U.S., CSB investigations superviser Don Holmstrom said.

So far, in adopting its new standards, the refining industry hasn’t said if the collection of such information would be made public.

The new standards were developed for the American Petroleum Institute by a panel dominated by management, Gomez said. It received little input from workers, regulators, environmental groups or scientists, Gomez noted.

CSB senior investigator Bill Hoyle noted that prior to the 2005 explosion BP had eight instances of volatile gases being released from the same unit where the blast began, yet under the new standards, such incidents wouldn’t have to be reported.
...




I'll be cheering the Alabama scientific and environmental communities on but I'm not at all optimistic that very much of the money coming to Alabama will be actually going to repair the damage caused by BP's black monster. Without federal strings it is much more likely to be used for boondoggles to further politicians' ambitions.
Alabama scientists, agencies seek role in spending of BP fines
Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 6:01 PM     Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012, 6:27 PM
A boat navigates a metal oil boom at Perdido Pass in Orange Beach in July 2010 after the April 2010 BP oil spill. (Press-Register/Mike Kittrell)

MOBILE, Alabama -- Though it may be years before most of the environmental restoration funds related to the BP oil spill become available, scientists and local environmental groups in Alabama are in general agreement about where to spend the money.

The only problem is that neither scientists nor environmental groups have a formal role in deciding how the potentially billions of dollars in fine money will be spent in Alabama.

Instead, a group headed up by Gov. Robert Bentley and Jimmy Lyons, director of the Alabama State Port Authority, will make those choices. The governor’s office declined to comment on how restoration projects would be selected.

While decisions about where to spend the BP fine money will be made by state environmental agencies in Louisiana and Mississippi, the final version of the RESTORE Act passed by Congress created a different system for Alabama.

Outside of Lyons, the rest of the State of Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council consists of local elected officials in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Included are the mayors of Mobile, Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Fairhope, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, and members of the Baldwin and Mobile County commissions.

The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP to the Gulf states, with the lion’s share going to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Estimates of the total payout range from $5 billion to $20 billion. The act also requires that the public be allowed to provide input during the project selection process.

Casi Callaway, director of Mobile Baykeeper, made a presentation to the Baldwin County Commission on Tuesday morning outlining the group’s vision of the top priorities for coastal restoration. Callaway said the recommendations represented a consensus reached by a variety of groups including the Nature Conservancy, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

The priorities include spending $100 million on the 100/1000 project to create 100 miles of oyster reefs and 1,000 acres of marsh habitat, $42 million for efforts to restore D’Olive Creek and other damaged watersheds, $70 million to restore tidal flow between Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, $250 million to purchase land along the coast, and $7.5 million to monitor conditions in the Gulf.

“We want the council to come up with a matrix, a decision-making tool, that will be used to select the projects. It needs to be done in a way the public can see and understand,” Callaway said. “What we want to avoid is a situation where they just divvy the money up among the different cities. We need a comprehensive approach to coastal restoration in Alabama.”

The scientists also lamented the lack of basic research in the Gulf, a data gap that became apparent during the oil spill, and resulted in some hysterical predictions about the potential impact of the spill.

“Oyster reef restoration and wetland restoration are very important. And, they are no-brainers because no one disputes that both habitats are way lower in abundance than they once were,” Valentine said. They also have a profound influence on the overall health of the Mobile Bay system.

“All of the projects we are talking about will create jobs. People have to do this work,” Valentine said. “The things we are proposing are the things that will help restore Mobile Bay. They’ve all been vetted and will make a difference. We need to take advantage of this opportunity.”




It's sadly typical that there is no mention in the news coverage that putting pressure on a well with a damaged formation poses an extremely high risk of blowing the formation out completely. I've heard more than one expert state that much of oil in the Gulf is found in brittle geological formations.

Also, without any truly independent verification I wouldn't trust the test results as far as I could through a BP deep sea drilling platform. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is in the Interior Department which has reliably shown itself to be little more than an industry cheerleader.

NEW ORLEANS: System for stopping an oil spill is tested in Gulf

Posted on Tuesday, 07.24.12

NEW ORLEANS -- The first deep-sea test of a state-of-the-art containment system for stopping an oil spill akin to BP's catastrophic 2010 spill began on Tuesday, regulators said.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the Houston-based Marine Well Containment Company was to move a capping stack system it has developed onto a ship and carry it out to where a test wellhead has been placed on the bottom of the Gulf. The stack will be lowered by wires onto the test wellhead sitting 7,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf.

BSEE staff - including inspectors, engineers and spill response experts - planned to monitor the drill and see firsthand how it is conducted, regulators said.

After the spill, several large oil companies set up the Marine Well Containment Company to prove the industry could control a deep-sea oil spill. It was a condition the industry had to meet before regulators would begin re-issuing deep-water drilling permits. Regulators began issuing permits in early 2011.

On Tuesday, Chauntra Rideaux, a BSEE spokeswoman, said the location of the test wellhead could not be disclosed immediately. She said doing so might undermine the test. She added that the agency planned to release more details about the exercise at a later date. An oil company was involved in the test too, but Rideaux said the agency could not yet release the name of the company.

Once the containment system is in place, regulators say the wellhead and capping stack will be pressurized to see how they handle conditions that would be experienced in the event of a real oil spill. Rideaux said there would be no release of fluids in the exercise.

This new capping stack is capable of containing up to 4.2 million gallons of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, according to MWCC.

BP's out-of-control well was 5,000 feet deep and this test wellhead is even deeper at 7,000 feet. Also, this stack is capable of containing a higher flow of oil than what gushed out of the Macondo well. BP lowered its stack with pipes and this one will be dropped using wires. Regulators said it might be faster to use wires.




It's nice to see a little bad karma coming Dudley-Do-Wrong's way but horrifying that he still thinks that BP is even remotely competent to do high-risk drilling. Willful ignorance and bald-faced lying seem to be BP's primary job requirements for its execs.
BP Posts Unexpectedly Large Loss
Published: July 31, 2012

LONDON — BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, reported a $1.4 billion loss Tuesday for the three-month period ended June 30. The main reason for the loss was $4.8 billion in write-downs on refineries, shale gas assets in the United States and a long-delayed project in Alaska.

The earnings will do nothing to assuage the concerns of investors, who are already discontented with the performance of the company and its chief executive, Bob Dudley. BP’s share price was down 4 percent in afternoon trading in London.

“This is a very, very disappointing set of results; they missed across all fronts by a wide margin,” said Peter Hutton, an oil analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London. Stripping out the $4.8 billion in write-downs, BP’s results were still 17 percent below the consensus estimates of analysts, Mr. Hutton said.

Mr. Hutton said that to convince investors he is on the right track, Mr. Dudley needs to demonstrate that costly shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP has much of its most profitable oil, are nearing an end.

The Gulf of Mexico has been a two-edged sword for BP. The 2010 spill has already cost the company $38 billion in charges, including another $847 million this quarter, and even threatened its existence at one point. But BP has also been the leader in developing deep water oil fields in the Gulf, and these properties produce some of the most profitable oil in the company’s portfolio. Production in the Gulf has dropped sharply in the past two years because of the need for repairs and a halt to drilling that is now resuming. Its oil production in the United States was down a huge 25 percent compared with a year earlier to just 350 million barrels per day.

In a telephone call with reporters, Mr. Dudley said two major Gulf of Mexico oil fields, Mad Dog and Atlantis, which he said were among “the most profitable fields in the world,” had been shut for major repairs. BP has been replacing the subsea infrastructure of Atlantis, which has long been the target of safety critics. BP production in the Gulf of Mexico was down 85,000 barrels per day in the quarter, according to a spokesman, Robert Wine, who said that the two fields would be coming back in the second half of this year and that a new field, Galapagos, was ramping up.

Mr. Dudley is trying to use the Gulf of Mexico disaster as an opportunity to streamline BP into a smaller but more profitable company. He wants to focus on high-risk, high-return exploration and difficult megaprojects like those in deep water. Since the beginning of 2010 BP has sold about $24 billion worth of oil fields and other assets that it deems nonstrategic and plans for the total to reach $38 billion by the end of 2013.. It has cut overall production, excluding its TNK-BP Russian affiliate, to about 2.3 million barrels per day from about 3 million barrels per day in 2009. “It is going to be value over volume,” Mr. Dudley said.

BP’s share in TNK-BP accounts for about 30 percent of the British company’s oil production, but the markets and the company have come to see the Russian affiliate as a dead end. The partners block BP from other Russian investments, and BP receives little benefit in its own stock price, analysts say.

Mr. Dudley acknowledged that no matter what he does, investors will be nervous until they see a resolution of the Russian situation and more clarity on how much BP will need to pay the U.S. government and other entities for the 2010 spill. The court case that is to decide on those liabilities has been postponed until 2013, but Mr. Dudley said BP was amenable to a fair and reasonable settlement.
...




Although it is much more newsworthy when any of BP's refineries are functioning properly and not polluting here is another entry in the seemingly endless list of incidents where BP refineries spew their filth.
BP reports process unit trip at Cherry Point, WA, refinery
July 31 | Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:28am BST

(Reuters) - BP Plc reported that a process unit had tripped releasing sulfur dioxide at its 225,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Cherry Point, Washington, refinery on Monday.

The company said in a filing with regulators that it had reduced and minimized rates and stabilized the process unit to get it back to normal. It said it did not know the cause of the incident.




I would expect that the chances of anyone in Russia recovering a dime that BP already has in its grubby pockets is slim to none with Slim setting land speed records getting out of town. However, it always makes me smile to see the Russian oligarchs causing BP grief and I'm hoping that Exxon Mobil will suffer a similar fate.
Russian court orders BP to pay $3.1 billion
Posted on July 27, 2012

MOSCOW (AP) — An arbitration court in Siberia ruled Friday that British oil giant BP should pay $3.1 billion in compensation to its Russian joint venture TNK-BP over a failed attempt to form an alliance with Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft.

BP's spokesman in Russia, Vladimir Buyanov told The Associated Press that it considers the ruling by the Tyumen Region Arbitration Court unfair and will appeal it.

The verdict came in response to a lawsuit launched last year by Andrei Prokhorov, a minority shareholder of TNK-BP.

The multibillion-dollar Arctic deal between BP and Rosneft collapsed last year after Russian TNK-BP shareholders contested it. They claimed that BP was breaking TNK-BP's shareholder agreement by entering into a deal without the venture's knowledge or consent.

After its prospective deal with BP fell through, Rosneft teamed up with U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil to explore for and produce oil in the Arctic and the Black Sea.
...

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