February 29, 2024

BP Sues 3 Companies Over Oil Spill

The oil giant filed lawsuits in New Orleans against Halliburton, which provided the cement for the well;  Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig; and Cameron International, the company that made the blowout preventer that failed last year, on the deadline for bringing suits in the federal litigation surrounding the disaster.

The company said in a statement that the move was “to ensure that all parties involved in the Macondo well are appropriately held accountable.”

Halliburton, BP said, had a “critical role” in the spill, with “misconduct” that included not sharing the results of failed cement tests, making a cement slurry that failed and missing “critical signals” of seepage into the wellbore.

The claims against Transocean, BP said, “are consistent with the conclusions reached by the presidential commission, which found that Transocean missed critical signs that hydrocarbons were flowing up the riser and failed to take appropriate actions to shut in the Macondo well.”

Cameron, BP asserted, designed and built a faulty preventer and negligently maintained it.

Cathy Mann, a spokeswoman for Halliburton, said in an e-mail, “We will vigorously defend these claims.”

Transocean responded with a statement calling BP’s suit “specious and unconscionable” and laid the blame squarely on BP as operator.

Halliburton, Transocean and Cameron filed similar cross claims and counterclaims on Wednesday.

Transocean called the Deepwater Horizon “a world-class drilling rig manned by a top-flight crew that was put in jeopardy by BP” through “a series of cost-saving decisions that increased risk  — in some cases, severely.” The filings are the “latest desperate bid” to evade the terms of agreements that contract governing the well indemnifies Transocean, the company said.

A spokeswoman for Cameron, Rhonda Barnat, said in an e-mailed statement, “It is not surprising that the companies are filing to protect their indemnity rights.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/us/21lawsuit.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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