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Halliburton reaches settlement on Macondo claims

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Macondo well cement contractor Halliburton announced today, Sept. 2, that it has reached an agreement to settle what it calls "a substantial majority of the plaintiffs’ class claims asserted against the company as a result of the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident in the Gulf of Mexico."

Halliburton was the cement contractor tapped by BP to seal the Macondo well. In October, 2010, approximately seven months after the spill ensued Apr. 20, the public discovered that the two companies were aware of sealant problems prior to April.

In a press release posted on the company's website today, Halliburton states that the roughly $1.1 billion settlement, including legal fees, is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and will be paid into a trust until appeals have been resolved in three installments over two years.

Previously, the company accrued $1.3 billion in loss contingency provision fees relating to BP spill proceedings.

The agreement includes:

  • Claims against Halliburton that BP assigned to the settlement class in BP’s May 2012 settlement;
  • Punitive damages claims against Halliburton by plaintiffs who allege damages to property or associated with the commercial fishing industry arising from the spill; and
  • "Affirmation" that Halliburton has no liability for compensatory damages to the members of the settlement class in the aforementioned BP settlement.

Payments will be held in trust, pending final settlement and any appeals that could arise in court. Further, the New Orleans District Court's earlier determination that the contractual indemnity provided by BP to Halliburton is "valid and enforceable" and that the Court's earlier dismissal of economic damage claims against Halliburton is valid.

Additionally, Halliburton says the the settlement is subject to an "agreed-upon level of participation by the current claimants" which, if not followed, allows the cement contractor to shutter the agreement.

For more on this announcement, please visit Halliburton's web site and click here.

Hyperlinks and quotation marks are those of the examiner's.

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