Gulf Oil Spill: Judge Fines Minority Owner $159M

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge says a minority owner of the well that spewed 130 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 must pay $159.5 million in Clean Water Act fines.

         Judge Carl Barbier noted in Monday's opinion that prosecutors wanted significantly more than $1 billion but significantly less than the maximum $3.5 billion.

         In a statement, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. of Houston said it's pleased the penalty is less than what prosecutors requested, but may appeal.

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         Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle says in an email that the department is pleased Anadarko is being held accountable.

         Anadarko owned 25 percent of the Macondo well, but had no say in its operations.

         Operator and majority owner BP PLC settled environmental damage claims this year for $20 billion.

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         The Macondo well exploded in April 2010, killing 11 workers.



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