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People -- Robert Kaluza

Former BP plc engineer Robert Kaluza, 65, has been found not guilty of negligence for his role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Macondo oil spill. Kaluza was the day rig supervisor aboard the Deepwater Horizon platform when it exploded, killing 11 men and sending millions of gallons of oil into the ocean. Kaluza, who had been charged with one count of violating the U.S. Clean Water Act, had faced up to a year in prison and fines if convicted. Federal prosecutors claimed that Kaluza and former co-defendant Donald Vidrine, the night supervisor, neglected to properly interpret a pressure test that indicated that oil and gas could be flowing into the well, which had been sealed with cement. However, the defense argued that the failure of multiple safety systems and equipment caused the explosion, not the interpretation of a test. Vidrine earlier pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor pollution charge; prosecutors have recommended 10 months of probation. He is to be sentenced in April. Manslaughter charges against Kaluza and Vidrine were dismissed in 2015 (see Daily GPIDec. 2, 2015; March 12, 2015).  

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