As co-owners of the most infamous blown-out oil-well in U.S. history scramble to disassociate themselves from financial liability in compensating Gulf Coast oil spill victims and Gulf cleanup efforts, the second largest co-owner Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which owns 25% of BP’s blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, on Friday accused BP of making “reckless decisions” that in their opinion, ultimately led to the well’s explosion.
Adding their voice to the chorus of harsh American criticism directed at BP, Anadarko said that BP’s behavior before the blowout most likely represented “gross negligence or willful misconduct.”
According to Anadarko Chief Executive James Hackett, “We will be looking at our contractual remedies based on the information that we have already received about the behaviors and practices on the well in the finishing days.”
BP, the oil-well’s operator and majority owner, – 65 percent – said it “strongly disagreed” with Anadarko’s allegations. Anadarko’s remarks concluded a week in which top oil drilling experts and Congress pointed the “blame game” finger at the British oil giant.
CEO Hackett said in a statement released earlier that “mounting evidence clearly demonstrates” that the disaster that led to the explosion and sinking of a drilling rig and the deaths of 11 workers “was preventable and the direct result of BP’s reckless decisions and actions.”
Understanding their shareholder’s profit-line “comfort-zone” and after having read the company’s financial obligation “tea leaves”, BP in an attempt to split the mounting costs of the oil spill, said in a prepared statement that co-owners must share in the cost of operations, “including the cost of cleaning up any spill” that is directly associated with the ruptured Gulf of Mexico deep water oil-well.
In defense of their accusatory stance, Hackett told Reuters, – the United Kingdom-based news service – that each day more information is being revealed that BP ignored signs of serious trouble during the drilling operation, such as problematic tests and departures from standard practices.
He firmly asserted that Anadarko would have done things differently.
“This appears to be pilot error,” Hackett said, using a plane crash analogy.
“We were not physically on the rig, and we were not consulted about the practices and procedures used on the rig floor,” Hackett said. ” According to the CEO, it’s imperative for the operator (BP) to adhere to rules and regulations that serve as safety guidelines. Hackett continues that “trust” is an important element in doing business with an operator.
Hackett said his company is in “shock” as information made public during the congressional hearings revealed BP “operated unsafely and failed to monitor and react to several critical warning signs” while drilling the oil-well.
The Times of London reported earlier Friday that Anadarko confirmed that they would make a $45 million dividend payout to their shareholders next week. In comparison, BP decided early last week to suspend this year’s dividend to their shareholders.
It’s common business practice to have companies like BP have one or more partners for deepwater operations in order to share the high cost and risk, however, operators are fully responsible for doing the work while semi-quiet financial partners contribute primarily to costs and in return for their investments, reap a percentage of profit from oil and gas sold.
Reacting to Anadarko’s statements, BP said it expected its partners in the oil-well, including Anadarko and 10 percent owner Mitsui & Co. to honor their legal obligations.
In a statement issued late Friday, BP chief executive officer Tony Hayward said Anadarko’s allegations “will neither distract the company’s focus on stopping the leak nor alter our commitment to restore the Gulf coast.”
“Other parties besides BP may be responsible for costs and liabilities arising from the oil spill, and we expect those parties to live up to their obligations,” Hayward added. “But how the costs and liabilities are eventually allocated between various parties will not affect our unwavering pledge to step forward in the first instance to clean up the spill and pay all legitimate claims in an efficient and fair manner.”
In good news, the U.S. Coast Guard official leading the federal oil relief effort stated that on Thursday BP had increased the amount of oil being siphoned from the Gulf Mexico, to 25,000 barrels. To date, it was the highest amount of oil collected by BP in a single day.
As the clock ticks on Kenneth Feinberg, the man selected by President Barack Obama to oversee / manage BP’s $20 billion claims fund, residents and businesses who depend on the Gulf of Mexico to pay their bills, eagerly await the day that news of funds transferred by BP to their banking account have been deposited. As tough as it is today to make “ends-meet”, victims of the oil spill would much rather have their money wired then mailed, are you listening Mr. Feinberg?
As always the New Orleans Examiner is interested in what you think. Will BP’s business partners “jump ship” and attempt to leave BP with paying for the total costs of the liabilities? Inquiring minds want to know. Sound off.
Until next time Louisianans, Good Day, God Bless and Good Fishing.