Weatherford to pay BP $75m for Gulf spill

Swiss-based oil services group Weatherford International, which provided equipment used in the doomed Macondo well, agreed to pay BP Plc $75m toward the cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP has agreed to indemnify Weatherford in relation to economic claims from people affected from the spill and environmental damage.

However, the settlement - the second BP has reached with parties involved in the well - still leaves Weatherford exposed to possible government fines and punitive damages.

Japanese trading house Mitsui, which owned a 10 per cent stake in the Macondo well through its exploration unit, agreed in May to pay $1.1bn towards the spill clean-up in what was seen as a key victory in BP's battle to share the costs of the disaster.

"It's not groundbreaking ... because Mitsui set the precedent," said Investec analyst Stuart Joyner. "The payment is symbolic, $75m is neither here nor there in the context of the wider fund. I wouldn't overstate the importance, but it's a step in the right direction."

BP said it was working to ensure its other partners in the well, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp, Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co , also contribute to clean-up costs.

Weatherford had in April said it swung to a first-quarter profit of $59.2m versus a year-before loss of $68.4m.