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BP sues Transocean for $40bn over oil spill

New York, April 21, 2011

On the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP sued Transocean, seeking at least $40 billion in damages and other costs from the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

London-based BP also sued Cameron International Corp  for negligence, saying a blowout preventer made by Cameron failed to avert the catastrophe.

Both complaints were filed Wednesday in federal court in New Orleans.

Eleven people died when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded.
About 4.9 million barrels, or more than 200 million gallons, of oil later flowed out of a subsurface BP well. BP has incurred tens of billions of dollars of liabilities from the disaster.

BP accused Transocean of negligence, saying it caused the drilling rig to be 'unseaworthy.' 'The simple fact is that on April 20, 2010, every single safety system and device and well control procedure on the Deepwater Horizon failed, resulting in the casualty,' BP said.   

Transocean called the lawsuit a 'desperate bid' by BP to renege on a contract to assume full responsibility for pollution and environmental costs.

'This suit is specious and unconscionable,' it said in a statement.

In a separate lawsuit, BP asked US District Judge Carl Barbier, who oversees national litigation over the spill, to order Houston-based Cameron to reimburse it for 'all or a part' of its damages.

'The blowout preventer failed to work and perform the function it was designed and manufactured to perform -- i.e., to secure the well,' BP said. 'The blowout preventer was flawed in design, and alternative designs existed that did not have these flaws.'     

BP said it took a $40.9 billion pre-tax charge in 2010 related to the spill, and by year end had incurred $17.7 billion of costs.

In a statement on Wednesday, BP said it wants 'to ensure that all parties involved in the Macondo well are appropriately held accountable for their roles in contributing to the Deepwater Horizon accident.'    

Cameron did not address the substance of BP's claims in an emailed statement, and said Wednesday was a deadline for companies tied to the spill to file claims against each other.

In one such case, cruise operator Carnival Corp  filed claims against BP, Cameron, Transocean and several other companies connected to the well to recover damages for added fuel and vessel cleaning costs, as well as lost revenue from decreased bookings. - Reuters




Tags: BP | Gulf of Mexico | oil spill | Transocean |

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