US oil services company Halliburton has agreed to compensate the victims of the 2010 BP oil accident in the Gulf of Mexico. The United States' most catastrophic oil spill will cost the firm more than a billion dollars.
Halliburton said Tuesday it would pay $1.1 billion (837 million euros) to settle claims involving the 2010 BP oil rig blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. The money would be paid to the Gulf fishing industry and other victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, including some claims made in suits against British oil giant BP.
Under contract with BP, Halliburton was in charge of building the cement casing of the offshore deepwater well that blew out, killing 11 people. The blast destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and sent millions of barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, polluting shores in several states, and shutting down the fishing industry on much of the US gulf coast.
In a brief statement, Halliburton said some of the fine announced Tuesday was its share of the nearly $8 billion April 2012 settlement BP made with class-action plaintiffs.
British oil major BP also issued a statement Tuesday saying the settlement showed that the accident was the responsibility of multiple parties.
"This settlement marks the very first time - despite three years of official investigations and litigation implicating the company - that Halliburton has acknowledged that it played a role in the accident," BP spokesman Geoff Morell said in a statement.
The deal, however, is only valid if a minimum number of plaintiffs sign it. Moreover, it must be approved by US District Judge Carl Barbier, who mediated the settlement.
uhe/ng (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)