BP cited for 5 more alleged violations

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JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — Federal regulators on Wednesday cited BP PLC for a second set of alleged violations stemming from the 2010 well blowout that killed 11 rig workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement cited BP for five alleged violations. The citations, announced after a further review of evidence, were in addition to seven others issued against BP in October.

BP spokesman Scott Dean said the British company would appeal all the violations. He said the issues raised in the latest citations “played no causal role in the accident.”

One of the citations Wednesday said BP failed to conduct an accurate pressure integrity test at a specific part of the well in the Gulf of Mexico. The other citations are related to an alleged failure to suspend drilling operations when the “safe drilling margin” in the permit application was not maintained.

“Our federal regulations exist to ensure safe and environmentally-responsible activities. We will continue to be vigilant in enforcing those regulations,” BSEE director James Watson said in a statement.

Regulators previously cited BP for seven violations and its contractors, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton, for four violations apiece. The earlier citations said BP, Transocean and Halliburton didn’t operate in a “safe and workmanlike manner” and “failed to take necessary precautions to keep the well under control at all times.” BP owned the well and was leasing the Deepwater Horizon rig from Transocean. Halliburton was the cement contractor hired to work on BP’s Macondo well a mile beneath the sea.

BP has 60 days to appeal the latest violations, after which time BSEE will consider what penalties could be imposed.