BP again seeks Gulf spill payment from Halliburton

Associated PressJanuary 3, 2012 

NEW ORLEANS -- BP is reiterating claims first made last April that it is entitled to payment from contractor Halliburton Energy Services for expenses and lost profits resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon offshore oil well disaster.

BP's latest filing was made Monday in federal court in New Orleans, where complex litigation involving various companies involved in the disaster is playing out.

BP has accused Houston-based Halliburton of botching the cement job meant to seal the well. Halliburton says BP is trying to saddle Halliburton with far more than its share of the legal burden.

In Monday's filing, BP said Halliburton has made inaccurate statements about BP's legal claims. And BP, quoting from its own filing made last April, emphasized it is seeking damages from Halliburton, including costs and expenses for oil cleanup and remediation, lost profits and other costs.

The April 20, 2010, explosion off Louisiana killed 11 rig workers and led to more than 200 million gallons of oil spewing from a well a mile beneath the sea, according to government estimates. London-based BP PLC owned the well and was leasing the Deepwater Horizon rig from Swiss-based Transocean Ltd.

Amid numerous claims and counter-claims made by various parties since the well blew out, a federal civil trial in the case is set to begin in February to assign shares of fault to the companies involved in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Monday's filing comes as Halliburton and BP argue over the extent of BP's indemnification of Halliburton. The Houston-based company says BP wants to avoid its legal responsibility to cover costs related to the spill. BP argues that "gross negligence" by Halliburton eliminates BP's indemnity obligation.

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