BP, Anadarko reach gulf spill agreement

Oct. 17, 2011 at 7:10 AM
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LONDON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- BP said Monday a partner in the well that exploded and caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 agreed to pay $4 billion to settle claims.

The settlement ends a dispute between well operator BP and stakeholder Anadarko Petroleum about taking responsibility for compensating people affected by one of the biggest oil spills in the United States, The New York Times reported.

The settlement wasn't an admission of liability, BP said.

The company's investigation concluded the accident resulted from many mistakes involving several companies. Anadarko Petroleum, based in Houston, has a 25 percent stake.

The Deepwater Horizon explosion in the gulf April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers and sent nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the water.

BP is still in discussions with Transocean, the rig operator and Halliburton, responsible for cement work, about participating in the compensation payments.

"There is clear progress with parties stepping forward to meet their obligations and help fund the economic and environmental restoration of the Gulf," Robert Dudley, BP chief executive officer, said. "It's time for the contractors, including Transocean and Halliburton, to do the same."

Anadarko no longer will pursue its claims of gross negligence with respect to BP and will transfer its stake in the well back to BP as part of the settlement, the Times said. BP said it agreed to indemnify Anadarko for some claims.

James Hackett, Anadarko CEO, said the settlement "removes significant uncertainty regarding future liabilities and associated risks."

BP said it will put the money into the $20 billion trust used for claims by individuals and businesses affected by the spill.

BP earlier reached a similar agreement with Moex Offshore, a 10-percent stakeholder that agreed to pay about half of the $2.1 billion BP sought.

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