Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anadarko To Pay BP $4 Billion To Settle Gulf Oil Disaster Claim

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has agreed to pay BP $4 billion to settle claims arising from last year's Gulf oil disaster.  This action reverses a hard-line stance by Anadarko that BP should pay the entire bill. Anadarko, which owns a 25 percent stake of BP's blown-out Macondo well, will also drop all charges against BP, including one accusing the British oil giant of gross negligence, which held the threat of far greater liabilities for BP.

BP set aside more than $40 billion to pay for estimated spill costs and claims in the wake of the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and launched the nation's worst oil spill. But from the beginning, it has argued the accident was the result of errors by multiple parties, and that it shouldn't bear the entire burden for damages.

In May, BP reached a $1 billion settlement with Japan's Mitsui, which held a 10 percent stake in the well. The following month, it struck a $75 million deal with Weatherford International, which provided drilling services at Macondo.

Under the settlement, Anadarko will make a single cash payment into a $20 billion trust fund BP established to pay for claims and cleanup costs. BP, in turn, will waive the $6.1 billion it had sought from Anadarko to cover its share of Gulf cleanup costs and other spill-related claims, as well as indemnify Anadarko for nearly all past and potential future costs.

Last week, the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement began the process of assessing government penalties. It sent notices of alleged violations to BP; Transocean, owner of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig; and Halliburton, whose cement work in the well has come under scrutiny. (Houston Chronicle, 10/17/2011)

1 comment:

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