Sat, May 21, 2011 - Page 10 News List

MOEX Offshore agrees to pay BP oil spill settlement

AP, LONDON

MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC, one of BP’s minority partners in the blown-out Deepwater Horizon well, has agreed to pay the British oil company US$1.065 billion to settle all claims between the companies over the accident in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP said yesterday that it would continue to pursue its other minority partner, Anadarko, the rig operator Transocean and cement contractor Halliburton to pay their share of billions of US dollars in cleanup costs, oil-spill damages and pollution fines.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley said the settlement with MOEX, which will immediately be paid into the US$20 billion trust BP has established to meet individual, business and government claims relating to last year’s oil spill, was “an important step forward for BP and the Gulf communities.”

“MOEX is the first company to join BP in helping to meet our shared responsibilities in the Gulf, and Mitsui, through MOEX USA Corp, is showing great corporate citizenship in standing behind its affiliate and making a contribution to meet the costs of this tragic accident,” Dudley said in a statement. “We call on the other parties involved in the Macondo well to follow the lead of the MOEX and Mitsui parties.”

MOEX Offshore, a unit of Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co that had a 10 percent interest in the Macondo well, had filed a lawsuit in New Orleans on the April 20 anniversary of the Gulf spill, asking a federal judge to declare it was not responsible for the damages and cleanup costs resulting from the worst off-shore oil spill in US history. MOEX was joined by Texas-based Anadarko, which had a 25 percent interest in the well, in suing BP. Both companies claimed that London-based BP was responsible for the blow-out and the spill.

BP said that the payment from MOEX announced yesterday and to be paid by its parent company, MOEX USA Corp, was not an admission of liability by any party regarding the accident.

However, under the settlement, MOEX joined BP “in recognizing and acknowledging the findings of the [US] Presidential Commission that the accident was the result of a number of separate risk factors, oversights and outright mistakes by multiple parties and a number of causes.”

“Like BP, MOEX Offshore has also recognized and acknowledged the conclusions of the United States Coast Guard that, among other things, the safety management systems of both Transocean and its Deepwater Horizon rig had significant deficiencies that rendered them ineffective in preventing the accident,” the statement said.

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