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
already agreed Wednesday to finance a $20 billion fund to pay the claims
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
Feinberg, who oversaw payments to families of victims of the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks, the officials told The Associated Press.