BP presses for Halliburton to share spill costs
BP has renewed its legal efforts to force contractor Halliburton to pay part of the costs of cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Halliburton had earlier asked a court to recognize a contractual agreement it insists it had with BP that protected it against bearing any costs related to the cleanup.
BP's latest filing, made Monday in federal court in New Orleans, said Halliburton has made inaccurate statements about BP's legal claims, and emphasized it is seeking damages from Halliburton, including costs and expenses for oil cleanup and remediation, lost profits and other costs.
Halliburton was responsible for sealing the well with cement, a job BP has said Halliburton botched. Halliburton has said BP is trying to saddle it with far more than its share of the legal burden.
The failure of the well caused the biggest offshore oil spill in U. S. history.
BP launched its original lawsuit against Halliburton last year and asked the courts for damages proportional to Halliburton’s share of responsibility for the disaster. How the blame will be shared will be decided at a civil trial scheduled for February, and which is expected to take eight weeks.
It also was to determine whether rig owner Transocean can limit what it pays those making claims under maritime law.
Explosion killed 11
An explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in April 2010 killed 11 workers. The accompanying blowout resulted in a spill of more than four million barrels of oil.
BP has already reached out-of-court settlements with two other partners on the project, Anadarko and Mitsui.
Last month, it came to a deal with Cameron International, the maker of the well's blow-out preventer, under which Cameron agreed to pay BP $250 million toward the costs of the cleanup.
However, BP has not been able to reach agreements with Transocean, the owner and operator of the drilling rig, and Halliburton.
BP has previously claimed that every single safety system and device and well-control procedure on the rig failed, and has accused Halliburton of fraud for allegedly concealing critical information about concrete tests it conducted. An oil well must be cemented properly to avoid blowouts.
Halliburton, Transocean and other companies involved in the disaster have made counterclaims against BP.
None of the accusations have been proven.
A report issued in September by the U.S. Coast Guard and the agency that regulates offshore drilling concluded that BP bears ultimate responsibility for the disaster. BP has asked the court to keep that report out of the civil trial.
With files from The Associated Press