A whistleblower with a pending lawsuit against BP PLC (NYSE: BP) in a federal court in Houston alleged the company has an offshore platform that faces present and imminent danger.
Kenneth Abbott, a former contractor with BP on the company's Atlantis production platform, which operates 190 miles south of New Orleans, filed a suit against the company for not maintaining accurate drawings of the platform's safety systems and structures.
This week, Abbott reiterated his claims, seeking to force BP to unseal information related to the platform's safety, reported the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Abbott's suit was originally filed in 2009, and his claims were substantiated by company ombudsman Stanley Sporkin, a retired federal judge.
Food & Water Watch, an environmental group, joined the lawsuit, which alleges violations under the False Claims Act, the Times-Picayune reported.
Abbott's claims were dismissed by federal regulators a year ago. After the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon accident that fouled the Gulf of Mexico, the former U.S. Minerals Management Service looked into his allegations. Its investigation confirmed the platform was operating without engineering drawings, but concluded it wasn't unsafe, the Times-Picayune reported.
The Department of Interior ... concluded that Mr. Abbott's allegations are unfounded and the Atlantis platform is safe and should continue to be operated by BP, company representative Daren Beaudo told Bloomberg News.
Abbott is suing on behalf of the U.S. government to get the production platform shut down. It produces 120,000 barrels of oil a day. He is also seeking $7.8 billion -- the value of the crude oil and natural gas Abbott suspects Atlantis produced since it went online in 2007, Bloomberg reported.
Immediate court action is needed to remedy unsafe conditions on Atlantis, Mikal Watts, an attorney for Abbott, said Thursday, Bloomberg reported.
Both parties will head to court on Monday.
In Friday trading, BP shares closed up 14 cents at $46.83.