NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 1 (UPI) — BP said a decision by a judge in New Orleans in favor of contractor Halliburton means the rule of law holds all parties responsible for a 2010 oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Tuesday that BP is obligated to “indemnify Halliburton for third-party compensatory claims” from damages that didn’t come from Halliburton’s equipment in the Gulf of Mexico “even if Halliburton’s gross negligence caused the pollution.”
BP, in a statement, said the ruling sent a “strong signal” that all parties involved in well operations at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico are accountable for their actions under the rule of law.
“All official investigations have concluded that Halliburton played a causal role in the accident, and following this ruling, Halliburton is, at a minimum, responsible for any punitive damages as well as civil penalties to the extent that they may apply under the Clean Water Act,” BP said. “Moreover, the court determined that if Halliburton is found to have committed fraud, then the indemnity could be void.”
Last month, BP claimed Halliburton destroyed test results regarding cement used to seal the well. Halliburton said the charges are baseless.
A report from U.S. regulators determined that the blowout that led to an explosion that sunk the Deepwater Horizon platform came from the failure of a cement barrier.
The courts last week made a similar ruling regarding Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig.