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15 Jul 2011

Allen Johnson Jr., Margaret Cronin Fisk, Bloomberg

BP Well Partner Must Take Claims to Arbitration, Judge Rules [USA]

BP...can halt litigation with minority business partner Anadarko...so the companies can arbitrate liability over costs of last year’s oil- well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, a judge said. Anadarko sued BP, asking a federal judge in New Orleans to declare it isn’t responsible for damages and cleanup costs created by the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history...BP asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to stall the lawsuit, contending that a partnership agreement required the companies to first attempt arbitration to resolve disputes. Barbier...sent the claim to arbitration...Today’s decision “does nothing to diminish our claims,” John Christiansen, Anadarko’s spokesman, said...“It simply addresses the venue in which they may be resolved.”...“Anadarko has blatantly disregarded its responsibilities to the residents of the Gulf Coast by failing to pay its fair share of the costs relating to the accident and resulting spill,” Dean [spokesman for BP] said...“BP remains focused on ensuring that Anadarko lives up to its obligations.” [also refers to Mitsui]