ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A U.S. judge ruled in favor of British energy company BP in a case involving federal claims from a 2006 oil spill in the Prudhoe Bay of Alaska.
BP in 2007 admitted to violating the Clean Water Act in a 4,700-barrel spill from its Prudhoe Bay field into Alaska waters in 2006. The company was placed on probation for three years and paid $20 million in fines and restitution.
The federal government asked U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline in Alaska to consider that BP broke the terms of the probation when about 300 barrels of oil spilled near Prudhoe Bay in 2009. The judge ruled against the government in the case.
BP spokesman Steve Rinehart told Bloomberg News his company was committed to safe operations in oil-rich Alaska.
"We are pleased with the decision," he said. "We know that the privilege of working in Alaska comes with a responsibility to maintain high standards. We will continue our commitment to running safe and compliant operations."
The government accused BP of ignoring signs that a pipeline associated with the Alaska field was on the verge of rupturing. The government said there were "compliance problems" in Alaska that beleaguered BP operations "for many years."
BP said at a Dec. 7 hearing before Beistline that it didn't violate the terms of the 2007 plea agreement.