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21 Jun 2011

Adam Jones, Financial Times

BP in $75m Gulf spill settlement with contractor

The UK oil and gas group has agreed to indemnify the US arm of Weatherford International, a Switzerland-based oilfield services company, against compensation claims linked to the accident – although it has not gone so far as to protect it from any fines or punitive damages it might suffer. As part of the settlement between the two companies, Weatherford is paying BP $75m, which the British company is passing on to the $20bn trust it has established to meet compensation claims. Weatherford made a coupling device, or “float collar”, used in the Macondo well which blew up, killing 11 people and leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The company, which is listed in the US, France and Switzerland, said the payment would be met from insurance policies.