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Officials estimate as many as 1,000 houses were contaminated by roughly 800,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a tank at the Murphy Oil Corp. in Meraux, just outside of Chalmette.
8/31/05 12:05:48 PM
By Chip Taulbee, Arkansasbusiness.com Daily Report
Production at three Murphy Oil Corp. facilities is still halted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but damage to two deepwater platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and a refinery near New Orleans appears to be minimal, the company said early Wednesday.
Mindy West, Murphy Oil’s director of investor relations, said that so far the damage assessments for the El Dorado-based energy company’s facilities have been “as good of a report as we could have hoped for.”
Update 1: Murphy Oil: 'Minimal Damage' From Katrin
09.01.2005, 04:41 PM
Murphy Oil Corp. said Hurricane Katrina had inflicted "only minimal damage" on its facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, and that its refinery in Meraux, La., also escaped major damage. But the company couldn't estimate when production and refining would resume.
On Thursday, El Dorado-based Murphy Oil said some flooding occurred at the Meraux refinery, which handles 125,000 barrels of oil a day. The company said the facility needed electrical repairs on some equipment and instrumentation as well as a general cleanup.
The company said only preliminary inspections had been done on its Gulf oil fields and no assessment has been made of its pipelines.
Shares of Murphy Oil rose 60 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $55.25 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
It was not immediately known how much oil spilled at the Meraux, La., refinery, but the El Dorado-based company said in a release that some of the oil has been contained within the refinery grounds. The spill was found Saturday, the company said.
EL DORADO, Ark. -- Aerial photographs confirm that a leak at the flooded Murphy Oil refinery in Meraux, La., is spreading into a nearby neighborhood.
The crude oil spill was discovered Sunday leaking from an 85,000-barrel tank. The aerial photographs later showed it seeping through the flood waters to the neighborhood west of the refinery, which is owned and operated by El Dorado-based Murphy Oil.
Darin Mann, a spokesman from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, said the leak was first seen during a DEQ flyover, but state officials don't know how much oil has leaked out or when cleanup can begin.
Murphy Oil Corp. said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that two class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company and its Murphy Oil USA Inc. unit because of leaks blamed on Hurricane Katrina. The suits were filed by residents of St. Bernard Parish, La., and seek unspecified damages caused by a release of crude oil at the company's Meraux, La., refinery. … The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States decreased by five this week to 1,436. Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,230 were exploring for gas and 202 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Four were listed as miscellaneous. … Clarcor Inc. shares fell Friday after two firms downgraded the company, citing a run-up in the stock. The downgrades came after the Franklin, Tenn.-based maker of filtration and packaging products missed third-quarter sales expectations. The company's shares fell $2.15, or 6.9 percent, to close at $29.20 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was heavy.
The oil spill has turned into a muddy sludge. It's too soon to know how toxic it is, but CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports that the million-dollar question now seems to be who should pay to clean it up.
The answer is obvious to Parish President Henry Rodriguez, Jr.: Murphy Oil.
"I don't think should be taxpayers paying for that," he said.
But it may not be what Murphy Oil has in mind. Rodriguez said that Murphy Oil has suggested that some of the oil has come from cars and is not theirs.
We asked Murphy Oil's CEO if they had been cleaning up the oily mess in homes. He answered by saying the first priority is the streets.
"So far we're concentrating on streets, where our current effort is,"
said Claiborne Deming, Murphy Oil's president and CEO.
For what work Murphy Oil does do, it may seek reimbursement from taxpayers. The total bill for this natural and environmental disaster is anyone's guess. There are cancer-causing chemicals in crude oil. The more dangerous the muck, the harder and more expensive cleanup will be.
HOUMA, La. (AP) - A group of commercial fishermen has filed a suit over suspected damage to fisheries caused by oil that spilled after Hurricane Katrina tore through southeastern Louisiana.
The suit, which asks for class-action status, is among at least five filed in federal court against oil companies in hurricane-related cases. Three of the suits are targeted at Murphy Oil Company for a spill at its refinery in Saint Bernard Parish. Another suit blames a long list of oil companies for the loss of wetlands that could have buffered the state from Katrina's devastation.
The fisheries case, filed yesterday in federal court in Houma, seeks unspecified damages from Shell Pipeline Company, Chevron, Bass Enterprises Production Company and Sundown Energy. The suit says hurricane damage to the companies' facilities resulted in more than five (m) million gallons of oil spilling into coastal waters.
The US Coast Guard has estimated that about six-point-seven (m) million gallons spilled as Katrina flooded and oil facilities.
Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association spokesman Larry Wall says the industry group had not seen the suit and could not comment. He says all storm-related oil spills have been contained and companies are developing remediation plans.