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23 Feb 2012

Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

BP, Anadarko liable for U.S. spill damages [USA]

BP...and Anadarko...are liable for civil damages under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a U.S. judge ruled, exposing them to billions of dollars in potential fines...[D]ecision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier...allows the U.S. government to pursue civil penalties at a trial he is scheduled to oversee...BP...said...the oil company has paid out more than $8 billion in claims, and repeated its commitment to pay "all legitimate claims" and help economic and environmental restoration along the Gulf coast. Anadarko did not immediately respond to a request for comment...Barbier said BP and Anadarko are liable under the Clean Water Act for oil discharged beneath the water surface because they owned a respective 65 percent and 25 percent of the Macondo well that blew out...The judge ruled that BP and Anadarko are also liable under the Oil Pollution Act for oil removal costs and damages. He said their liability under both laws is "joint and several," meaning that each could be responsible for the entire amount owed.[also refers to Transocean]