U.S. cites BP 5 more times for Gulf spill

WASHINGTON Wed Dec 7, 2011 11:48am EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. offshore drilling safety agency on Wednesday issued five more citations against BP for its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

The new citations come on top of seven "incidents of noncompliance" that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement doled out in October to BP for its role in the 2010 drilling disaster that killed 11 workers and spewed more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.

"Further review of the evidence demonstrated additional regulatory violations by BP in its drilling and abandonment operations at the Macondo well," BSEE director James Watson said in a statement.

The agency did not release details on how much the company may face in fines, saying it would consider civil penalties after the 60-day appeal period for the citations was completed.

By law, BP face fines of up to $35,000 a day, per incident for the violations.

This latest set of citations for BP focuses on the failure to conduct an accurate pressure integrity test and failure to suspend drilling operations when the approved safe drilling margin for its well was not maintained.

BP's major contractors on the doomed Macondo well, Halliburton and Transocean, were not named in this second round of citations.

The contractors each received four notices of violations when BP was cited in October.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by David Gregorio)

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