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BP and Osha resolve majority of Texas City refinery citations

18 July 2012

BP Products North America Inc. announced on July 12 that it has reached an agreement with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to settle 409 of the 439 remaining citations issued to the BP Texas City Refinery in 2009. “BP is committed to workplace safety. A strong relationship with OSHA is part of that commitment,” said Iain Conn, BP’s global head of Refining & Marketing. 

BP and OSHA have now resolved all but 30 of the citations arising from the 2005 fire and explosion at the Texas City Refinery, which killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 others
BP and OSHA have now resolved all but 30 of the citations arising from the 2005 fire and explosion at the Texas City Refinery, which killed 15 workers and injured more than 170 others

As part of the agreement, BP will pay a civil penalty of $13 million. Excluded from the settlement are 30 citations that BP and OSHA will continue to discuss. 

BP says it has made major improvements in safety and environmental compliance at the Texas City Refinery. The company spent more than $1 billion on safety and infrastructure improvements at the refinery between 2005 and 2009 and allocated another $500 million for activities specified in the 2010 settlement agreement. The work that BP has performed for the 2010 agreement has been verified by independent experts as well as OSHA to ensure consistent implementation and compliance with standards. 

In addition to the investments in refurbishing and updating the refinery, BP partnered with the United Steel Workers (USW) to establish front line involvement in process safety management. 

“BP shares the USW’s focus on worker safety and an injury-free workplace” said Steve Cornell, President of BP Products North America. “Today’s agreement represents another milestone in our commitment to safe and compliant operations.” 

Originally, BP Products and OSHA entered into a settlement agreement on September 22, 2005 resolving various citations issued by OSHA related to the March 23, 2005 accident at the Texas City Refinery. The agreement had a four-year duration ending September 22, 2009. In compliance with that agreement, BP Products completed approximately 660 abatement requirements and process safety recommendations by September 22, 2009.

On September 21, 2009, BP Products filed a Petition for Modification of Abatement (PMA) Date and an amended PMA on October 5, 2009, seeking to clarify abatement obligations and dates related to five of 660 abatement actions, specifically those related to inlet pressure drop on relief valves and installation of safety control systems.

On October 15, 2009, OSHA denied BP Products’ amended PMA and the matter was referred for an expedited hearing to an administrative law judge from the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, an independent commission that adjudicates disputes between OSHA and private employers.

On October 29, 2009, OSHA alleged BP failed to meet deadlines and other requirements set forth in a 2005 agreement related to the continuing implementation of safety improvements and issued 270 citations to the refinery. OSHA also issued 439 citations unrelated to the 2005 Agreement. BP disagreed with OSHA’s allegations and contested the citations.

On August 12, 2010, BP and OSHA reached a settlement of the 270 Failure to Abate Notices that were part of the 709 citations. BP completed the 2010 Settlement Agreement on schedule on March 12, 2012. BP met or exceeded all its commitments under the 2010 agreement, which was subject to independent verification by third party experts.

The remaining 439 OSHA citations were not addressed by the 2010 Settlement Agreement.

BP says it has invested more in the United States over the last five years than any other oil and gas company. With more than $52 billion in capital spending between 2007 and 2011, BP invests more in the US than in any other country.

The company is the second largest producer of oil and gas in the US, a major oil refiner and a leader in alternative energy sources including wind power and biofuels. BP provides enough energy each year to light the entire country. 

With 23,000 U.S. employees, BP supports nearly a quarter of a million US jobs through its business activities.

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