2014 oil country litigation findings for PG&E, BP Atlantis

San Bruno pipeline fire brings $1.4 billion fine. No penalty for BP’s ‘paperwork wrinkles.'

Paul Duller (Tribal Group) reports that the San Bruno Gas Pipeline case he has been working on for the last three years resulted in the pipeline operator, PG&E being fined $1.4 billion, the largest ever fine imposed by a regulator on a gas company. As we reported earlier (Oil IT Journal April 2014), investigators found that the GIS system used for PG&E’s integrity management program contained ‘inadequate and misleading information.’ PG&E have admitted fault and apologized but are ‘respectfully asking that the commission ensures that the penalty is reasonable and proportionate and takes into consideration the company’s investments and actions to promote safety.’

Another piece of litigation we have reported on in earlier Oil IT Journals concerned the state of documentation on the BP Atlantis Gulf of Mexico production platform. This was judged earlier this year when US District Judge Lynn Hughes found the case to be ultimately about ‘paperwork wrinkles’ instead of engineering shortcuts. Abbott and the environmentalists ‘have not blown a whistle, they have blown their own horn.’

Notwithstanding the judgment, Congressman Raśl Grijalva was back on the warpath with a letter to US Secretary of the Interior, British-born Sally Jewell, asking her to ‘provide me your detailed plans for strengthening regulations to ensure that BP and other offshore companies maintain a comprehensive set of final engineering drawings.’

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