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With Criticism Falling on BP, Well's Co-Owners Refuse to Pay Bills

As cleanup costs in the Gulf continue to stack up, BP is getting no financial help from the partners in its ruptured well, Anadarko Petroleum and MOEX Offshore. Anadarko has been public in its criticism of BP’s operating decisions.

Even though the Obama administration has sent its fourth bill to BP for cleanup costs, neither Anadarko Petroleum nor MOEX Offshore--BP’s partners in its ruptured well in the Gulf—appear to have coughed up any part of what BP has said they owe. 

The administration’s $100 million bill brought BP’s total tab from the feds to $222 million. (Last week the company said that its total cleanup costs had topped $3 billion.) “BP and other responsible parties have paid the first three bills” in full, according to a Unified Command statement released Tuesday.

So far, it appears BP has covered those bills, and its attempt to seek reimbursement from Anadarko and MOEX Offshore, which own 25 and 10 percent of the ruptured well, respectively, haven't been successful.

The dispute between BP and Anadarko has been well documented, but Reuters reported Tuesday that MOEX Offshore, a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., decided not to pay the $111 million in cleanup costs that BP had requested. 

“We are disappointed that they, too, are failing to live up to their responsibilities,” BP spokesman Andrew Gowers said of MOEX, in comments reported by The Associated Press.

Anadarko, as we have pointed out, has been public about its criticism of BP’s operating decisions, and has accused the company of "gross negligence." It has not, however, criticized BP's well design choices, which  Anadarko and MOEX approved, and which have since been criticized by BP's industry peers for being riskier than their companies would allow. In June, Anadarko had refused to pay a $272 million bill from BP.

Anadarko Petroleum spokesman John Christiansen told me the company still stands by its earlier criticisms of BP, and is “withholding reimbursement to BP at this time.”

A spokesman for MOEX Offshore told me: "We are undertaking a very careful and independent review of BP's claims for reimbursement. Therefore, we are withholding reimbursement of BP's invoices, other than with respect to the non-incident costs, at this time."

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