Anadarko Balks at Reimbursing BP for Oil Cleanup Costs

July 12, 2010

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which owns 25 percent of the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, has told BP Plc that, for now, it will not pay a $272 million bill from the British oil company to cover clean-up costs.

The two oil companies are in a dispute: On June 18, Anadarko said the accident, which killed 11 people and caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, “was preventable and the direct result of BP’s reckless decisions and action.”

In an email sent Friday, Anadarko spokesman John Christiansen said: “Although we have notified BP that we are withholding reimbursement to BP at this time, we remain committed to working with BP in good faith to achieve a satisfactory resolution.”

BP is seeking to have Anadarko pay part of the clean-up costs required under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act. However, Anadarko has said BP may have engaged in conduct that will release them from liability.

Last month, Anadarko Chief Executive Officer James Hackett told Reuters the company is considering “contractual remedies” in the dispute.

BP, which has a 65 percent stake in the well and was its operator, also billed the oil and gas arm of Mitsui & Co Ltd for $112 million in clean-up costs. Mitsui has a 10 percent stake in the well.

A spokeswoman for Mitsui could not immediately be reached for comment.

BP has spent $3.12 billion so far on containment, clean-up and claims, the company said Monday.

(Reporting by Anna Driver; editing by Andre Grenon)

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