Halliburton Co. (HAL) has consented to pay $1.1 billion to settle most of the lawsuits related to the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A court must still approve the deal, which covers claims for punitive damages that were filed by the commercial fishing industry and others impacted by the spill.
BP P.c (BP) Spill victims accused Halliburton, which is based in Houston, Texas, of defective cementing on the Macondo well prior to the spill. Halliburton blamed BP Plc., which was operating the rig. This is Halliburton’s most significant payout related to the spill to date.
The oil spill occurred when there was an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Eleven workers died and millions of oil barrels poured out into the gulf. Hundreds of lawsuits against Halliburton, BP, and Transocean Ltd, (RIG) which owned the rig ,soon followed.
Already, BP has paid over $28 billion in settlements. In 2013, Transocean paid $1.4 billion in settlements.
The Halliburton settlement will be put placed in a trust until all appeals are settled. However, the certain number of claimants have to agree to it or the company can cancel ideal. Still, the agreement will not resolve a number of lawsuits filed by certain U.S. states against Halliburton.
Meantime, the company, Transocean Ltd. and BP are defendants in an upcoming nonjury trial over whether they were at fault. They are accused of acting with gross negligence and setting back the development of deep-water resources by years. The decision could establish the scope of future payments for the three of them.
According to investigators, deficient cementing directly played a part in the well blowout. Halliburton has countered, saying the cement mix was made according to BP’s specifications and that the latter and Transocean were the ones who did not test the cement’s integrity. All three companies deny that they were grossly negligence.
If BP is found negligent, it could face up to $18 billion in penalties under the Clean Water Act. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC), which owned a 25% stake in the well, could also be found liable under the act. In July, Anadarko offered to settle with the U.S. Justice Department for $90 million.
Halliburton to Settle Deepwater Horizon Claims for $1.1 Billion, The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2014
Halliburton to pay $1.1 billion to settle gulf oil spill lawsuits, The Washington Post, September 2, 2014
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