Two companies involved in last year’s Gulf oil spill announced Monday they will settle claims over the disaster. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will pay BP $4 billion, a higher-than-expected figure, analysts said.
The decision is good news for BP, as it prepares for a February 2012 trial in New Orleans that will determine whether the company demonstrated gross negligence with the handling of the Macondo well, which exploded and killed 11 workers before leaking 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico last year.
Anadarko had a 25 percent stake in the well, which the company will transfer back to BP. According to the settlement, Anadarko will make the $4 billion payment to BP in a single cash sum within 45 days.
“Though the agreement does not provide indemnification against fines and penalties, punitive damages or certain other potential claims, we do not consider these items to represent a significant financial risk to Anadarko,” Anadarko’s Chairman and CEO James Hackett said in the filing.
BP also withdrew its claims of $6.1 billion against Anadarko and has received payments from other stakeholders as well. Mitsui & Co., which had a 10 percent holding in the well, agreed to pay $1.065 billion in May, and Weatherford International Ltd., an equipment provider, agreed to pay $75 million.
“There is clear progress with parties stepping forward to meet their obligations,” BP’s CEO Bob Dudley said in a statement.