BP's legal fight to force other companies to share the compensation payout over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been thwarted.
The oil firm came under fire in the wake of the accident for failures with its process safety management, but claimed contractors Transocean and Halliburton should be responsible for meeting some of the costs of the incident.
But David Uhlmann, a University of Michigan law professor, stated Transocean could still be set to face lawsuits worth billions of dollars over civil and criminal penalties under the Clean Water Act, reports the Guardian.
BP has already paid billions of dollars in claims and Transocean spokesman Lou Colasuonno said: "This confirms that BP is responsible for all economic damages caused by the oil that leaked from its Macondo well and discredits BP's ongoing attempts to evade both its contractual and financial obligations."
A ruling from the judge of the case, which took place in the US, added there was a "clear and unequivocal agreement" to provide "broad indemnity" between the companies.
Blaine LeCesne, an associate professor at Loyola University law school, argued this comes as a "major victory" for Transocean, noting a settlement could occur in the coming months.
BP was claimed to be in a "bad position" as a result of the failure to win its case and force Transocean and Halliburton to pay some of the compensation costs from the spill.
Eric Schaeffer, who led the Environmental Protection Agency's civil enforcement office for five years, added pressure has been heaped on BP due to the ruling of the judge.
"If BP is less able to shift some of those costs to Transocean ... I'd want to get it settled," he said, adding BP has to accept it will bear Transocean's share of compensatory damages.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley recently predicted BP's payout over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be set to double.
26th November 2012
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