Oil and gas major BP Plc. has settled outstanding claims with offshore drilling contractor Transocean Ltd. and oilfield services provider Halliburton Co arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Transocean said it would pay two classes of plaintiffs, represented by the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (the PSC), a total of approximately USD 212 million.
The first class covered under the PSC agreement comprises private plaintiffs and local governments that potentially could assert punitive damages claims against Transocean under maritime law. The second class comprises the private plaintiffs who previously settled economic damages claims with BP and were assigned certain claims BP had made against Transocean.
Under the terms of the agreement, BP has agreed to indemnify Transocean for compensatory damages, including natural resource damages, while Transocean will indemnify BP for personal and bodily injury claims of Transocean employees and claims relating to any future cleanup or removal of diesel or other pollutants stored on the Deepwater Horizon.
BP will also discontinue its attempts to recover as an “additional insured” under Transocean’s liability policies that will accelerate the company’s recovery of approximately USD 538 million in insurance proceeds. Finally, BP will pay Transocean USD 125 million in compensation for legal fees it incurred.
“These settlements provide substantial closure to five years of litigation and we are confident that this agreement can be a significant step forward in our efforts to renew our partnership with BP,” said Jeremy Thigpen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transocean.
“Most importantly, while the litigation is finally coming to an end, it is important that we, as an industry, continue to remember the eleven men who lost their lives in this tragedy, and keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.”
BP’s deal with Halliburton includes indemnities between the parties and dismissal of all claims against each other, relating to the spill.
“We are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution with BP, our valued customer, that allows us to close another chapter in the Deepwater Horizon case for Halliburton,” said Dave Lesar, chairman and CEO of Halliburton.
Halliburton previously announced that it reached an agreement to settle punitive damages claims against Halliburton by a class of plaintiffs who allege damages to property or associated with the commercial fishing industry arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident, and all claims against Halliburton that BP assigned to the settlement class in BP’s April 2012 settlement with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.