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Exxon Faces $1 Billion Fine for Sabotaging Texas Oil Wells

Business  (tags: ExxonMobvil, Exxon, Mobil, oil, oil wells, Texas, sabotage, environment, corruption, profits )

- 3594 days ago -
ExxonMobil's sabotage of some 100 Texas oil wells in the past 17 years -- going so far as to plug up some wells with explosives -- means the world's largest oil company could be liable for penalties of up to $1 billion, the Texas General Land Office says.


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Blue Bunting (855)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 7:08 pm
ExxonMobil’s sabotage of some 100 Texas oil wells in the past 17 years — going so far as to plug up some wells with explosives — means the world’s largest oil company could be liable for penalties of up to $1 billion, the Texas General Land Office says.

Jerry Patterson, commissioner of the state’s land office, released a report earlier this week asking the Texas Railroad Commission — which regulates the state’s oil industry — to investigate “ExxonMobil’s intentional sabotage of oil wells in Refugio County as well as the company’s fraudulent reports covering up the damage.”

“Exxon committed irrefutable, intentional and flagrant violations of state rules regulating the oilfield,” Patterson said in a statement (PDF).

The allegations stem from a lease the company signed with a Texas family, the O’Connors, back in the 1950s to exploit oil fields on the family’s land. When the relationship “went sour,” Patterson states, the energy giant had the oil wells plugged up in such a way that no one else could use them.

Patterson says the company’s reports on the sealing of the oil wells was “fraudulent.”

“When the relationship turned sour in the 1990s, Exxon-Mobil terminated the lease and plugged the wells,” states Patterson’s report. “As per state rules, Exxon filed paperwork with the Railroad Commission outlining its well-plugging procedures and filed sworn affidavits as to the final condition of the wells. The O’Connor family soon learned those reports to the Railroad Commission were fraudulent.

“When an independent producer, Emerald Oil, attempted to capitalize on new legislative incentives to reopen abandoned wells, they found the old Exxon-Mobil wells hadn’t been plugged but sabotaged — filled with junk, cut well casings, contaminated oil tank sludge and even explosives. Many of the wells were left unrecoverable.”

Under Texas state rules, ExxonMobil could be fined as much as $10,000 per sabotaged oil well, or some $1 billion in all.

“The allegations paint a false and misleading picture of Exxon Mobil’s involvement in the O’Connor oil and gas leases,” ExxonMobil spokeswoman Margaret Ross stated in a Bloomberg article. “The area in which the wells are located has a water table very close to the surface. It was critical that Exxon protect the groundwater by plugging the wells solidly and thoroughly.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Texas Railroad Commission’s attorney “sent a letter to Exxon Mobil’s attorney, asking the company to reply to the complaint by July 31 and stating that the agency would take no action pending receipt of the response.”

Linda H (199)
Saturday July 18, 2009, 8:23 pm
Noted! Thanks for this information,Blue!

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 2:50 am
They'll never collect it:( They still haven't back the American taxpayers back the billions of dollars it took to try to clean up their oil spill in 1989. Thanks for the news Blue.
WASHINGTON, DC, March 24, 2009 (ENS) - Today is the 20th anniversary of the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, but the federal and state governments have yet to collect millions of dollars that the oil company agreed to pay.

A final $92 million claim for harm to wildlife, habitat and subsistence users filed in 2006 has gone unanswered by the Exxon Corporation, now ExxonMobil.

Early in the morning on March 24, 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound spilling more than 11 million gallons of crude oil onto the Alaska coast, causing an estimated $15 billion in damages.
The cleanup took four summers and cost approximately $2 billion, according to a report by the state and federal governments.

Kathy Chadwell (354)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 2:53 am
Sorry, Exxon still hasn't paid the American taxpayers back:)

Ancil S (175)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 2:39 pm

sue M (184)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 5:43 pm

Lyn C (70)
Sunday July 19, 2009, 11:08 pm
Some how you'd expect a large entity such as Exon to be a bit more discrete and less obvious in the way they sabatoged the oil wells, be cause they were mad they couldn't play any more so they "broke" the other kids toys ie the oil wells. Seems even big corporations aren't above petty revenge. It didn't matter that that oil was a need commodity, they just destoyed property and went off and sulked.

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday July 20, 2009, 3:04 pm
Lyn, you've probably never seen a large corporation fight a union ... they play rough and dirty and now thy've even bought the entire U.$. Congre$$ to stop EFCA.

Christoph Wuth (72)
Monday July 20, 2009, 3:47 pm
And you should see how some of those big oil companies still ride roughshod over their business "partners" in certain developing countries!

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday July 20, 2009, 4:49 pm
Chevron: 'We're not paying' $27 BILLION fine for oil damage to Ecuador rain forest

Haudeno Saunee (19)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 3:14 am
This is further proof that Exxon-Mobil is too big for their britches; they need to be fined at least $1trillion plus interest.

. (0)
Friday July 24, 2009, 8:22 pm
Good that should plug up some of their money, that they have exploited from others, shame on them.... Greed doesn't pay does it.

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday July 31, 2009, 11:34 am

Blue Bunting (855)
Friday July 31, 2009, 11:38 am
Exxon Spends More On Lobbying Than Entire Clean Energy Industry Combined
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