NOTE 2. GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL DISASTER
As a result of the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 and the subsequent temporary and intermittent closures of certain commercial and recreational fishing grounds by the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ("NOAA"), Omega Protein's total fish catch for 2010 was materially impacted. In addition, Omega Protein incurred costs associated with the temporary re-deployment of many of its Gulf of Mexico fishing vessels, costs to purchase fish meal from third party vendors to offset lost production, and increased costs per unit of production resulting from intermittent plant closures.
During 2010, Omega Protein filed a claim for damages with BP and also met with BP's third party claims adjuster. On August 23, 2010, the claims process for BP was moved to the GCCF, a claims facility tasked with claims administration and payment distribution for those businesses and individuals that suffered damages and incurred other costs related to the oil spill.
On September 2 and October 19, 2010, Omega Protein received its first and second emergency payments from the GCCF of $7.3 million and $11.4 million, respectively. These payments were utilized in the following manner: 1) $0.6 million of the payments to offset previously recognized losses as of June 30, 2010 related to costs that were not able to be allocated to production as a result of intermittent plant closures, 2) to offset costs Omega Protein incurred to purchase 6,315 tons of fish meal which partially offset lost production, and 3) to offset the high costs per unit of production Omega Protein incurred during the 2010 fishing season in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the closure of its fishing grounds.
The majority of the first and second emergency payments were credited to the 2010 unallocated inventory cost pool (including off-season costs). Because both of these payments were included in the cost per unit of production calculation for the 2010 fishing season, cost of sales was partially reduced by 10.2% and 11.7%, or $3.0 million and $8.2 million, for the three and six months ended June 30, 2011, respectively. With the recognition of these amounts, the Company has completed recognizing the $18.7 million in payments applied to its inventory cost pool as a result of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster directly affected Omega Protein by decreasing its fish catch due to the closure of state and federal fishing grounds and increased the cost of its normal fishing effort due to the repositioning and staging of its fleet at other locations. The decrease in fish catch reduced Omega Protein's volume of inventory available to sell which reduced its sales volumes and revenues for the third and fourth quarters of 2010. The decrease in fish catch and additional costs incurred related to Omega Protein's 2010 standard cost were partially offset by the receipt of two GCCF emergency payments, as described above. Omega Protein cannot predict what effect the oil spill will have on future years' fish catch or customer perceptions about its products.
In April 2011, the Company agreed to a final settlement of all of its claims for costs and damages incurred as a result of the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion. As a result of the settlement, on April 18, 2011 the Company received a final payment of $26.2 million, net of fees and expenses, from the GCCF. The amount was recognized as "(Proceeds/gains) losses resulting from Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster" in the Company's Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statement of Operations and Comprehensive Income for the three and six months ended June 30, 2011.
In total, the Company received payments of $44.8 million, net of fees and expenses, from the GCCF, including emergency payments of $7.3 million and $11.4 million in September and October of 2010, respectively. As a part of the final settlement, the Company released and waived all current and future claims against BP and all other potentially responsible parties with regard to the oil spill.