Halliburton, the contractor hired by BP to carry out all cementing work on the ill-fated Macondo well, announced on Monday that it has entered into advanced talks to agree an out of court settlement for its part in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The announcement was made just days after the court proceedings came to an end for the first phase of the trial that sees the federal government, Gulf Coast states, and a few private entities, claim damages against BP for the 2010 spill, which saw over 4 million barrels of oil released into the ocean after the fig exploded and sank.
Halliburton does not directly face charges, but BP has fought to hold it partially accountable, along with the drill rigs owner Transocean, and therefore Halliburton must prepare to pay a part of the damages that would otherwise be given to BP.
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The size of Halliburton’s liability will not be fully clear until the end of the multidistrict case being overseen by a federal judge in New Orleans.
In the first quarter of the year Halliburton set aside $637 billion in order to cover legal expenses that might occur as a result of the claims brought against it. This has led the company to report a first wuarter loss of $13 million, compared to the first quarter earnings of $635 million a year ago. Still, the news of a potential settlement saw share prices rise by nearly 6 percent on Monday.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com