Oil company to plead guilty to lying about amount of oil spilled in Gulf

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM

David Hammer / Eyewitness News
Email: dhammer@wwltv.com | Twitter: @davidhammerWWL

Another oil company is poised to plead guilty to falsifying the amount of oil it spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s nothing on the order of the 2010 BP spill, in which BP admitted to lying about how much oil was spilling, but the charges against W&T Offshore show there are others trying to pull one over on the pollution police.

Federal prosecutors in New Orleans charged W&T Offshore with tampering with water samples and polluting the gulf in 2009.

The company was given a permit to dump water back into the gulf as long as they monitored the amount of oil and grease contained in the liquid. The indictment alleges that W&T tampered with or falsified those readings several times in 2009, and then negligently dumped a small amount of oil off their platform in Ewing Banks Block 910, about 175 miles due south of New Orleans.

W&T said in a press release that it has agreed to plead guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor and will pay a $700,000 fine and $300,000 for community service. It says a contractor's employees were the ones who violated protocols for collecting the water samples.

The company is scheduled to officially plead guilty on Jan. 3.
 

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