BP seals $4bn clean up deal with partner

BP has accepted a $4bn (£2.5bn) payment from partner Anadarko Petroleum towards the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean up.

The figure is far less than it might have won in court, but could reduce the overall cost of the disaster for the British group. Anadarko will no longer pursue its allegations of gross negligence against BP. The deal excludes possible government fines the parties may have to pay.

As a 25 per cent partner in the Macondo well, Anadarko is liable for 25 per cent of the costs of cleaning up the spill, compensating those affected, and paying government fines. It could only avoid this responsibility if it proved BP had been grossly negligent – something which could have added around $18bn to the total amount of fines BP faced.

BP’s estimated total payout is up to $42bn.