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BP tells Halliburton to come clean

Jan. 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

HOUSTON, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- British energy company BP accused oil services company Halliburton of skirting its responsibilities in the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean Deepwater Inc., owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, leased to BP, agreed to pay more than $1 billion in fines and penalties for the BP oil spill, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday. The company agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges, paying $400 million in fines, as well as another $1 billion in civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act.

Around 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico before a capping system plugged the leaking well in late 2010. The explosion that razed the rig left 11 workers dead and 17 others injured.

BP, in a statement, said the Transocean settlement shows the company played a major role in the disaster.

"Transocean is finally starting, more than two-and-a-half years after the accident, to do its part for the Gulf Coast," the company said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Halliburton continues to deny its significant role in the accident, including its failure to adequately cement and monitor the well."

BP last year claimed Halliburton destroyed test results regarding cement used to seal the Macondo well beneath the rig. Halliburton said the charges are baseless.

There was no public comment from Halliburton on the Transocean settlement. Transocean said the settlement agreements "remove much of the uncertainty associated with the accident."

BP in November agreed to plead guilty to 14 criminal charges stemming from the accident as well as to $4 billion in fines and penalties.

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