Associated PressMon Apr 22, 2013 9:25 PM
NEW ORLEANS — BP’s cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 announced Monday that it is trying to negotiate a settlement over its role in the disaster, a focus of trial testimony that ended last week.
Halliburton Chief Financial Officer Mark McCollum said during a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings that talks were at an “advanced stage.” The Houston-based company says it hopes court-facilitated negotiations will resolve a substantial portion of private claims it has faced since the Deepwater Horizon rig blast spawned America’s worst offshore oil spill.
“We are working hard to come to a reasonable settlement that would be in the best interest of our shareholders,” Halliburton president and CEO Dave Lesar said on the same call.
Testimony ended last Wednesday for the first phase of a trial over London-based BP PLC’s Macondo well blowout. The April 20, 2010, blowout triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans presided over the trial without a jury and heard eight weeks of testimony. Barbier, who isn’t expected to rule for several months, ultimately could decide how much more money BP, Halliburton and rig owner Transocean Ltd. owe for their roles in the catastrophe.
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