January 1, 2011

From the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill to the Sub Salt Layer in Brazil: Surveying the Legal Landscape in the U.S. Post-Macondo and How Brazilian Legislation & Environmental Damages Liabilities Address Oil & Gas Offshore Activities

ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Admiralty and Maritime Committee Newsletter
Christopher R. Nolan | Christopher R. Nolan
Maritime Partner Christopher Nolan co-authored an ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Admiralty and Maritime Committee Newsletter article titled "From the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill to the Sub Salt Layer in Brazil: Surveying the Legal Landscape in the U.S. Post-Macondo and How Brazilian Legislation & Environmental Damages Liabilities Address Oil & Gas Offshore Activities."

Every now and then an event happens in our industry which forces us to take pause, question how it happened, and use the lessons learned to implement change to prevent certain actions from happening again. The April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon explosion and blowout is one of them. The Macondo oil spill will likely end up the worst in U.S. history, surpassing the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Major regulatory steps were taken after the Valdez spill to, in theory, prevent another oil spill from wreaking similar havoc on communities, the environment, fisherman and businesses. Most notably, the The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), was enacted.

This article addresses OPA and other statutes applicable with an oil spill, including Congress' reaction to the perceived shortcomings in OPA after the spill. In addition, the article considers the key companies involved in the Gulf spill who are waging a battle of words via SEC filings, press releases, internal investigation reports and filings in federal, state and presumably arbitrations under applicable contracts. To view the full article, please visit the link below.

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