BP loses bid to share compensation payments for Macondo spill
10 February 2012
US federal judge Carl Barbier has told BP that contractors Transocean and Halliburton do not have to share compensation payments over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill because they are protected by their contracts.
A US federal judge has told BP that contractors Transocean and Halliburton do not have to share compensation payments over the Macondo oil spill
More than 750m litres of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico after the undersea Macondo well blew out on 20 April 2010. It was finally capped in July.
BP, Transocean and Halliburton have been accusing each other over who was at fault for causing the blowout. Federal investigators said BP, the well's owner, bears ultimate responsibility, but have faulted all three companies to some extent.
The ruling on 26 January came as BP, the US southern states affected by the disaster and the federal government were finalising discussions over a settlement for the country’s largest offshore oil spill.
The decision may have spared Transocean from having to pay potentially billions of dollars in damage claims. But the judge said the company was not exempt from paying punitive damages and civil penalties arising from the blowout 100 miles (160km) off the Louisiana coast. Those sanctions could still amount to billions of dollars.
BP claimed victory and said Barbier's ruling "at a minimum" left Transocean facing "punitive damages, fines and penalties flowing from its own conduct".
Transocean said: “This confirms that BP is responsible for all economic damages caused by the oil that leaked from its Macondo well.”
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