BP, Anadarko in $4bn Macondo settlement

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Huge pay-out: Anadarko handing $4bn to BP in settlement over Macondo disaster

Anadarko Petroleum is handing BP $4 billion in cash in settlement of all claims between the pair in relation to the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

The UK supermajor can, however, still chase the US independent for certain other claims and damages arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig which left 11 workers dead and led to one of the largest marine oil spills in history.

In revealing its deal with Anadarko, BP also reiterated that it is still chasing US contractor giants Halliburton and Transocean over the disaster.

Anadarko, which owned a 25% stake in the Macondo prospect well, is to make a single $4 billion cash payment to BP which the UK giant will apply to its $20 billion trust fund set up to help pay for clean-up costs and to settle claims. The former is also to relinquish all of its holding in the well to the latter which had been looking for $6.1 billion from Anadarko.

Anadarko wrote in a statement on Monday that it will pay the amount within 45 days through a combination of cash in hand and drawing down on its $5 billion credit facility. The expense will be booked in its third quarter result and it will look to repay some of its bank borrowings through the propsed sale of its Brazilian assets, revealed last month. The company also expects to receive $163 million of net proceeds from its insurance providers.

"The agreement is not an admission of liability by any party regarding the accident," a statement from BP read on Monday.

"In addition, Anadarko will no longer pursue its allegations of gross negligence with respect to BP.

"Anadarko and BP have agreed to work cooperatively with respect to indemnified claims, and Anadarko has the opportunity for a 12.5% participation in future recoveries from third parties or insurance proceeds cumulatively exceeding $1.5 billion, up to a total cap of $1 billion."

The deal also sees the release of mutual claims against each other with BP indemnifying Anadarko from certain claims arising from the incident.

"However, BP’s indemnity excludes civil, criminal or administrative fines and penalties, claims for punitive damages, and certain other claims," BP's statement continued.

Anadarko chairman and chief exeutive Jim Hackett did not appear to be too phased by the possibility of having to settle other claims, writing in Monday's statement: "We do not consider these items to represent a significant financial risk to Anadarko. This confidence stems from recent court decisions that released Anadarko from punitive damages and personal injury claims, combined with the findings of various investigations that have confirmed the company had no direct involvement in the drilling of the Macondo well."

The Anadarko payment follows settlements from BP with other parties associated with the well and rig. In May the UK oil company shook hands with Mitsui offshoot Moex Offshore for $1.065 billion. The following month oilfield services company Weatherford agreed to pay out $75 million.

BP appears in no mood to give up its chase of other companies involved in the well of ill-fated rig, writing: "Consistent with official investigations that found the accident was the result of multiple causes, involving multiple parties, BP is working to ensure that other parties, including Halliburton and Transocean, contribute appropriately.

"Multiple official investigations, including those conducted by the Presidential Commission and the Marine Board of Investigation, found that conduct by those parties contributed to the accident.

"The issuance of regulatory violations last week to BP, Transocean and Halliburton by the US Department of Interior demonstrates that the contractors responsible for well control and cementing, not just the operator, should be held accountable for their conduct."


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