Transocean Files Cross-Claims Against BP, Others Related To Gulf Spill

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April 21, 2011

Transocean Ltd. (RIG, RIGN.VX) said it filed cross-claims against BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) and other entities involved in last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as the legal wrangling over the offshore oil disaster continues.

On Wednesday, BP filed suit against Transocean, which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling vessel, and Cameron International Corp. (CAM), which manufactured a critical safety device called a blowout preventor that was intended to shut down BP’s well in an emergency. The claims are part of litigation filed in federal court in New Orleans related to the disaster that began last April.

The BP complaint said Transocean is responsible for failures of safety devices and control procedures and is seeking at least $40 billion in damages.

Transocean said Thursday that BP agreed to assume full responsibility for any “loss, expense, claim, fine, penalty or liability” for pollution or contamination, in its drilling contract.

At stake in the broader litigation is who owes the federal and local governments billions of dollars in compensation for the 4.9 million barrels of oil that gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the BP well exploded and the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig sank.

(c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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