The question of negligence is key to how much dough Anadarko and Mitsui have to cough up.
For a quick look at the issues see our July 14 post "Anadarko Petroleum Faces High Hurdle in Proving BP Was “Grossly Negligent”" (APC).
From NewsWatch: Energy:
During conference calls on Tuesday BP executives repeatedly made it clear they don't think the company will be found grossly negligent when it comes to the events leading up to the Deepwater Horizon accident and ensuing spill.
Incoming CEO Bob Dudley echoed remarks made by outgoing CEO Tony Hayward, insisting BP had not been negligent in its offshore operations:
"It's a very complicated industrial accident," Mr. Dudley said during a telephone interview with reporters. It resulted from "a series of individual misjudgments by very experienced people and a multiple series of failures of equipment and processes of using equipment that is going to involve multiple companies here."And in calculating a $10 billion tax break in its quarterly earnings due to cleanup costs, BP said it was assuming that would be based on spill fines that would assesed at $1,100 per barrel, not the $4,300 per barrel that federal laws allow if the spill was caused by gross negligence.
But maybe not everyone at BP is on the same page.
According to a letter sent earlier this month by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbot to BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Settles (see it below), BP's general counsel believes the company will be found grossly negligent.
In the letter Perry and Abbott accept a $5 million grant BP offered to the state for oil clean-up along Texas coasts (even though it's been minimal so far) and asks for another $20 million on top of that to be more in line with grants that states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida received.
In the letter, Perry and Abbott also mock BP and Suttles a bit for comments he must have made in his prior letter about the size of the funds being offered....MORE, including a Scribd copy of the letter.