19 Jun 2010

BP denies Anadarko 'negligence' claim

5:16 pm on 19 June 2010

BP has denied claims by one of its partners that its handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill amounted to "gross negligence".

BP said it "strongly disagrees" with Anadarko Petroleum, who said BP's behaviour in the run-up to the disaster was "reckless" reports the BBC.

BP has also confirmed that its chief executive, Tony Hayward, a Briton, is handing over daily management of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the company's managing director, Bob Dudley, an American.

Anadarko's statement comes after Mr Hayward was questioned by US lawmakers who accused the company of taking short cuts on safety to save money.

Anadarko Petroleum's chief executive Jim Hackett says he's shocked by information disclosed in that hearing and other investigations that appears to show that BP operated unsafely and failed to monitor and react to critical warning signs when drilling the well.

In a statement he said BP would be responsible to its co-owners for the damages caused by its gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Anadarko owns 25% of the well.

The oil leak began after an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on 20 April which killed 11 workers. The rig sank two days later.