Houston-based Cameron International Corp., which manufactured the blowout preventer used for the doomed deepwater Macondo oil well, on Friday agreed to pay operator BP plc $250 million to settle claims relating to the disaster.
Under the agreement Cameron admitted no guilt or liability. It also is no longer responsible for additional cleanup costs incurred by BP related to the spill. Both companies dropped all claims against each other related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
BP said the agreement was in the companies' "mutual best interests," adding that it was "not an admission of liability by either party." The Cameron payment is to be part of BP's $20 billion cleanup fund, which was set up following the accident in April 2010. However, the agreement does not cover civil, criminal or administrative fines and other penalties that may follow court proceedings, which are to begin in February.
BP already settled claims related to the Macondo blowout with well partners Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and a unit of Japan's Mitsui Ltd. (see Daily GPI, Oct. 18; May 23). Still to be resolved are BP claims against other contractors, including Transocean Ltd., which owned the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig, and Halliburton Co., which provided cement work and other well services.
In October BP was cited for seven violations while Transocean and Halliburton each were given four citations by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (see Daily GPI, Oct. 14). Earlier this month federal regulators also slapped BP with two new charges involving five incidents of noncompliance related to the well blowout (see Daily GPI, Dec. 8). The citations are in preparation for civil penalties likely to be imposed by the federal government.
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