Judge decides BP oil spill not covered by Transocean Insurance

BP Gulf of Mexico SpillA New Orleans judge has ruled that BP Plc’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is not covered by the insurance the company holds with Transocean Ltd.

Following the oil spill in 2010, BP filed claims with the carriers of Transocean Insurance, seeking a payment of $750 million from their numerous policies with the insurer. Several excess underwriters, with Lloyd’s of London and Ranger Insurance, the primary insurer of Transocean, contested BP’s claims, saying that the contract between BP and the owner of the rig did not include this protection.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier agreed, saying that the carrier did not have to pay BP for any claims or defense costs. The ruling was recorded in a 42 page report, and said that under the BP drilling contract, the company assumed the responsibility for the pollution liabilities of the Macondo oil well release. Barbier added in the ruling that “Because Transocean did not assume these liabilities, there is no additional insurance obligation in favor of BP for these liabilities.”

There were 11 workers killed as a result of the Macondo oil rig blowout and its following explosion, and it led to the worst offshore oil spill in the history of the United States. This single accident brought about hundreds of lawsuits against the oil company and its contractors and partners. They involved everything from personal injuries and economic losses and were all combined in the ruling by Barbier.

Halliburton Co, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig owner and operator, Cameron International – the blowout-prevent equipment provider, and Transocean Insurance were all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

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