BP PLC and MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC Reach $1.06 Billion Settlement over Deepwater Horizon Explosion

NEW ORLEANS - (Mealey's) BP PLC and MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC and affiliates Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. and MOEX USA Corp., which had a 10 percent interest in the Macondo Well where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was drilling, announced May 20 that they had reached an agreement in which MOEX USA will pay BP $1.06 billion to settle claims arising from the April 20, 2010, explosion of the rig that caused the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Under the settlement agreement, the companies jointly recognized the findings by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling that the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was the result of a number of risk factors, oversights and outright mistakes by multiple parties.  MOEX also agreed to recognize the conclusions of the U.S. Coast Guard that the safety management systems of both Transocean Ltd. and the Deepwater Horizon rig had sufficient deficiencies that rendered them ineffective in preventing the accident.  MOEX does not admit any liability in the accident.

In addition to agreeing to release mutual claims against each other, BP states that it will indemnify MOEX for compensatory claims arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon; however, the indemnities do not include civil, criminal or administrative fines and penalties, claims for punitive damages and certain other claims.

 BP says it will apply the $1.06 billion payment to the $20 billion trust the company has established to meet individual, business and government claims, as well as the cost of damages to natural resources.

[Editor's Note:  Full coverage will be in the June issue of Mealey's Litigation Report: Pollution Liability.  For all of your legal news needs, please visit LexisNexis Mealey's.

For more information, call editor Shane Dilworth at 215-988-7725, or email him at Shane.Dilworth@lexisnexis.com.

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