Partner puts blame on BP as spill costs grow

BP Plc's costs for the worst oil spill in US history appeared set to rise as a partner in the out-of-control well laid the blame at BP's feet and the new federal tsar overseeing damage claims said BP would pay more if $20 billion (£13.5m) was not enough.

The British oil company said it would not be distracted by a dispute with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. The owner of a quarter of the well gushing into the Gulf broke its near-silence on the spill to squarely pin blame - and financial responsibility - on BP.



"There appears to be gross negligence or willful misconduct," Houston-based Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that helped to drive his company's shares up 2.2 per cent in after-hours trading on the hopes it could avoid multi-billion-dollar liabilities.



BP said it "strongly disagrees" with the assessment of gross negligence but would keep its focus squarely on the Gulf, cleaning up the spill and plugging the well.



The new federal administrator of a fund to pay for damages told CBS News it would be a "horror" if BP went bankrupt but the $20 billion fund agreed upon by BP and the White House could rise if it proved insufficient.



President Barack Obama has seen his popularity slip over his handling of the spill and lawmakers in both major parties used hearings with BP and other oil industry officials this week to gather ammunition ahead of November elections.



Gulf residents, from state officials to citizens on the blighted beaches, see costs skyrocketing with the collapse of the fishing industry, a deep water oil drilling moratorium and growing environmental destruction along the coast.



"I think it's going to go over $100 billion (£67.4m)," said Brian Miguez, a food service salesman from New Orleans, at his vacation property in Grand Isle, Louisiana, where the spill has forced the closure and cleanup of six miles of sandy beach.



"They haven't even felt the wrath of the lawsuits that are going to come in," he said.



The Center for Biological Diversity on Friday filed what it said was the largest citizen enforcement act ever under the Clean Water Act, suing BP and rig operator Transocean Ltd (RIGN.S) for up to $19 billion (£12.8m), if the spill flows until August.







The first of a pair of relief wells meant to stop the flow in August is within 200 feet of the side of the blown well, said Kent Wells, BP's senior vice president of exploration and production. But it must be drilled down farther before it can intersect with the blown well.



As the crisis entered its 61st day, BP is capturing record amounts of crude - with 25,000 barrels siphoned off on Thursday, the US Coast Guard admiral leading the relief effort said.



But Admiral Thad Allen said 35,000 barrels a day, and possibly as much as 60,000 barrels, are pouring from the well, which ruptured after an April 20 explosion on an offshore oil rig which killed 11 workers.



Kenneth Feinberg, the man picked by Obama to oversee the $20 billion compensation fund, pledged during a visit to the Gulf Coast state of Mississippi yesterday to pay legitimate claims quickly. BP and Obama have agreed that if necessary BP would pay more, he told CBS News.



BP is seeking up to $7 billion (£4.7m) in loans from seven banks, banking sources told Thomson Reuters LPC, and sources have told Reuters the company may offer up to $10 billion (£6.7m) in debt as early as next week.



Its debt is currently trading at junk levels, and Moody's yesterday cut its rating three notches on concerns about spill liabilities. Moments after Anadarko said BP would have to pay all claims, Moody's cut Anadarko debt to junk on similar concerns it might not avoid contributing to damage claims.



After falling 6.8 per cent in a week of volatility driven by politics in Washington, BP's US-listed shares hovered nearly unchanged on yesterday. The shares are down 26 per cent so far in June, their worst month since the October 1987 market crash.



The Wall Street Journal reported last night that BP's well used a cheaper technology than the industry standard and was less secure against natural gas blowouts of the type that destroyed it. The newspaper's analysis found that BP used the cheaper technology much more frequently than rivals.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created