In a series of legal deals, BP PLC agreed to settle nearly all remaining claims with Halliburton Co. and Transocean Ltd. related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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The deals won't completely end the long-running courtroom showdown over responsibility for damages related to the offshore disaster, which killed 11 workers and led to millions of barrels of crude oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. But they are a large step toward resolving the litigation and dispute over which companies should pay economic damages to businesses and governments affected by the spill.
London-based BP was the owner of the Macondo well and its employees directed the drilling of the well. Halliburton cemented the well and performed other critical services. Transocean owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
Under the terms of the deal between BP and Swiss-based Transocean, the offshore rig operator will pay $212 million to plaintiffs, plus an undetermined amount of attorney's fees. The deal is subject to approval from the U.S. District Court. BP has agreed to pay Transocean $125 million to reimburse it for legal fees and has dropped all further claims.
"These settlements provide substantial closure to five years of litigation and we are confident that this agreement can be a significant step forward in our efforts to renew our partnership with BP," Jeremy Thigpen, president and chief executive officer of Transocean, said in a prepared statement.
Separately, Halliburton said it had reached a deal with BP to settle all remaining claims and counterclaims between the companies. The Houston-based oil-field service provider didn't disclose the terms of the deal.
In a statement, BP said it was "pleased to have resolved with Halliburton and Transocean the final remaining disputes stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident. We have now settled all matters relating to the accident with both our partners in the well and our contractors."
(By Russell Gold)