BP blamed by partner for spill

Andarko Petroleum "shocked" by apparent negligence of BP at oil well.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 19, 2010 05:19
1 minute read.
Members of the Louisiana National Guard build a le

louisiana oil spill beach 311. (photo credit: AP)

BP's three-front oil spill war — cleaning up on the seafloor, on the Gulf Coast and in Congress — turned into a four-front battle Friday when its main partner in the damaged exploration well blamed the oil giant's "reckless decisions and actions" for causing a disaster that was "preventable."

It was the first time since the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico that Anadarko Petroleum had given its view of the accident, and its chief executive, Jim Hackett, did not mince words. In a statement, Hackett said he was "shocked" by information that has emerged from investigations of the accident. He said it "indicates BP operated unsafely and failed to monitor and react to several critical warning signs during the drilling of the Macondo well."

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Anadarko's statement contrasted with the testimony of BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, who told a congressional committee Thursday that it was too soon to reach conclusions about the disaster's causes.

Hackett's comments have huge financial implications. As a 25 percent partner in the well, Anadarko would ordinarily be responsible for a quarter of all cleanup and damage costs. But, Hackett said, "BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement." He said Anadarko would donate to charity and civic groups any proceeds it receives from the sale of oil collected during the cleanup.

BP already agreed Wednesday to finance a $20 billion fund to pay the claims of people whose jobs and way of life have been damaged by the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The independent fund will be led by lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw payments to families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the officials told The Associated Press.


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