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17 Nov 2011

Alejandro de los Rios, Louisiana Record [USA]

BP not entitled to insurance coverage under Transocean, Barbier rules

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has ruled that BP is not eligible for millions of dollars in coverage for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion and oil spill under oilrig owner Transocean's insurance policies. Transocean was leasing the Deepwater Horizon to BP when its blowout preventer failed and led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history...Barbier concluded that BP is not correct in its interpretation that the lease they signed with Transocean indemnifies the oil company for some $750 million for damages caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "One cannot definitely conclude that there is, in fact, an insurance obligation," Barbier wrote. "Therefore, it is unreasonable to adopt BP's interpretation, that there is unlimited-in-scope coverage just because in the abstract Transocean is obligated to name BP as an additional insured." BP argued that the drilling contract that it signed with Transocean means that it is insured for oil spill damages under policies Transocean has taken out on the Deepwater Horizon.