BP to sue US firm over Deepwater disaster

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British energy group BP said Thursday it had sued Cameron International, the makers of a blowout preventer (BOP) which BP believes failed in the lead up to last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The maligned oil giant confirmed it was to sue the US firm at federal court in New Orleans for supplying faulty equipment, which should have prevented the fatal explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

According to a BP statement, one of the BOP's "blind shear rams", which was meant to cut the faulty drill pipe and seal the well, failed to close fully due to a piece of trapped drill pipe, precipitating the April 20 disaster.

"The Presidential Commission and BP's internal investigation found that the Deepwater Horizon accident was the result of multiple causes involving multiple parties including the BOP's failure," the statement said.

"BP filed suit as part of the legal process to ensure that all parties involved in the Macondo well are appropriately held accountable for their roles in contributing to the Deepwater Horizon accident," it added.

Cameron has filed counter-claims and maintains its equipment was not to blame.

The blast killed 11 people and sent some 4.9 million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf over a three-month period, wreaking havoc on the region's environment and economy.

BP vowed to make the people affected by the Gulf oil spill "whole" and created a 20-billion-dollar trust fund, its quasi-independent claims facility has paid 3.9 billion dollars to 177,000 claimants.

© 2011 AFP

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