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BP unveils liability deal with Weatherford
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) June 20, 2011

BP on Monday announced it had struck a deal with oil services company Weatherford International, to settle potential claims between them linked to the Deepwater Horizon accident.

"BP and Weatherford have agreed to mutual releases of potential claims against each other, and BP has agreed to indemnify Weatherford for compensatory claims resulting from the accident, including claims brought relating to pollution damage stemming from the accident," BP said in a statement.

"The agreement is not an admission of liability by any party regarding the accident," it added.

A presidential commission last January found that the Deepwater Horizon incident was the product of complex causes involving multiple parties.

"Weatherford is the first of BP's contractors to formally agree with BP that the entire industry can and should learn from the Deepwater Horizon incident," BP added.

Under the deal, Weatherford, which manufactured the float collar used in the well, will pay BP $75 million.

And "BP will immediately apply the payment to the $20 billion trust it established to meet individual, business and government claims, as well as the cost of the Natural Resource Damages," the BP statement added.

"This settlement allows BP and Weatherford to put our legal issues behind us and move forward together in strengthening processes and procedures, safety, and best practices in offshore drilling," said BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay.

The British oil giant stressed in its release that it was "working to ensure that the other parties involved in the Macondo well" mentioning by name Transocean, which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon rig; Halliburton, which designed and pumped the unstable cement that the commission found was a key cause of the accident; and Anadarko, which owned 25 percent of the project.

BP said on May 20 that it had recovered more than $1.0 billion in costs linked to last year's devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The leak was triggered by an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig in the US Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The blast killed 11 workers, caused millions of barrels of oil to spew into the sea and left the British company scrambling to meet huge compensation costs.

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BP chairman eyes new drilling in Mexico Gulf soon: media
Stockholm (AFP) June 21, 2011 - British oil giant BP hopes to soon be able to operate again in the Gulf of Mexico, its chairman was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"It's difficult to speculate on but I think it isn't far away," Carl-Henric Svanberg told reporters on the sideline of an International Association for Energy Economics in Stockholm, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and sending some 4.9 million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf over a three-month period, wreaking havoc on the region's environment and economy.

Following the spill, the largest ever manmade environmental disaster in the United States, Washington imposed a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which it lifted in October.

"We are confident that we aren't treated differently there," Svanberg said Tuesday.

The chairman's comments came a day after BP announced it had struck a deal with oil services company Weatherford International, to settle potential claims between them linked to the Deepwater Horizon accident.

An unnamed trader quoted by Dow Jones Newswires said Tuesday's comments were "just another piece of the jigsaw."

"This is more good news for a beleaguered BP share price," another trader was quoted as saying.

BP shares rallied 3.65 percent to 445.2 pence in late afternoon trade on London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies, which was 1.29 percent higher at 5,766.97 points.

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China defends Bashir visit as 'reasonable'
Beijing (AFP) June 21, 2011
China insisted Tuesday it was "quite reasonable" for it to host Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for genocide and war crimes and is unwelcome in most of the world. China's foreign ministry said last week that President Hu Jintao and other leaders would meet Bashir on his June 27-30 visit, during which the two sides would discuss ways to consolidate their "traditional friendshi ... read more

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