Mitsui Offshore Exploration and Anadarko Petroleum, BP's partners in the Deepwater Horizon well, now refuse to share in the liability for the Gulf oil spill, saying BP's gross negligence frees them from liability. But before the issue goes to arbitration, they're going to try to talk it out.
BP and Anadarko will battle over whether the former was grossly negligent in the Deepwater Horizon project before an arbitration panel, not a court. This means the fight won't help oil-spill plaintiffs. Plus, Viacom vs. YouTube and dangerously industry-friendly regulators.
The past few days have brought several new developments in the BP disaster. Anadarko Petroleum has turned on its former partner, claiming BP is completely responsible for the spill. And questions are emerging about just how much money it will take to clean the Gulf.
BP used a cheaper and riskier well design in more than one-third of its Gulf of Mexico deepwater wells -- significantly more often than most other big drillers in the area, according to The Wall Street Journal. The same design was used in BP's Deepwater Horizon rig.
Anadarko, a 25% owner of BP's disastrous Gulf drilling operation, blames the British oil giant for the rig explosion and oil spill. It says BP's actions represent "gross negligence or willful misconduct."
The federal report on the Gulf oil spill is due out this week, and industry awaits it with concern: A prolonged ban on offshore drilling and expensive new safety standards could take a serious economic toll.