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BP Fined $87 Million By OSHA For Texas Explosion

Fri, 10/30/2009 - 4:21am

LONDON (AP) — British oil company BP PLC said Friday it is disappointed to receive a fine — expected to be a record $87 million — from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration over a 2005 explosion that killed 15 people at its Texas City refinery.

OSHA earlier this month rejected BP's request for more time to comply with a settlement over the blast.

BP spokesman Robert Wine said that BP has received citations from Washington D.C.-based OSHA and now expects a fine.

"We are disappointed that OSHA took this action in advance of the full consideration of the Review Commission," the London-based company said in an emailed statement, referring to an ongoing separate inquiry by a body separate to OSHA.

BP said it believed it was in "full compliance" with the settlement agreement, which included requirements that BP change working practices to improve safety, and it would demonstrate that to Occupational Health & Safety Review Commission.

"While we strongly disagree with their conclusions, we will continue to work with the agency to resolve our differences," the company added.

OSHA, the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation, is expected to hold a press conference to formally announce the fine later Friday. A penalty of $87 million would be the largest imposed in its history.

BP said its efforts to improve process safety performance "have been among the most strenuous and comprehensive that the refining industry has ever seen."

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