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BP paid £160m in spill settlement

The maker of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out preventer that failed to stop last year's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has agreed to pay 250 million dollars (£160 million) to BP under a legal settlement, the oil giant said.

BP said it was "in their mutual best interests, and the agreement is not an admission of liability by either party". BP and Cameron International are dropping all claims against one another, they said.

The settlement comes in advance of a US federal trial over the catastrophic Gulf oil spill.

The non-jury trial is scheduled to begin in February and determine fault in the April 20, 2010 explosion and subsequent oil spill off the Louisiana coast of more than 200 million gallons of oil.

The settlement with Cameron does not end the legal fighting over the blow-out of the Macondo well, which was owned by London-based BP and two partners, MOEX and Anadarko.

BP has already settled claims with those two companies and a third company, Weatherford, the maker of a part used in the well.

"Today's settlement allows BP and Cameron to put our legal issues behind us and move forward to improve safety in the drilling industry," said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive.

"Unfortunately, other companies persist in refusing to accept responsibility for their roles in the accident and for contributing to restoration efforts," Mr Dudley said in a swipe at Halliburton Corp and Transocean Ltd.

Halliburton supplied critical cement to seal the well and Transocean was the company drilling the well.

BP said it would use the 250 million dollars to pay for the cost of cleaning up from the spill and paying individual damages claims by people, businesses and government entities hurt by the spill.

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