Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen

BP sues Halliburton for full costs of 2010 spill

Eve Troeh Jan 3, 2012

Stacey Vanek Smith: BP is suing contractor Halliburton for the entire cost of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Eve Troeh reports.

Eve Troeh: This is latest in BP’s attempts to spread around the blame — and the bills — for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill. In the lawsuit, it holds Halliburton responsible for the failure of a cement lid placed over the blown out deepwater oil well, and thus the entire cleanup for the incident. That’s estimated to cost more than $40 billion. Last week Halliburton said BP hid information that could have helped prevent the disaster.

Energy analyst Sarah Emerson says it’s no surprise BP and Halliburton’s legal teams are playing hardball.

Sarah Emerson: I think it’s what you have to do, it’s due diligence to make sure you’re not paying more than your share.

But she says offshore drilling takes major partnerships. And legal battles won’t ruin any chances for the companies to work together on current or future drilling.

Emerson: They might be terribly antagonistic in court, and then go out to dinner. I suspect there are other parts of both companies working together on a new drilling project.

Last month, BP did successfully squeeze a settlement from another contractor involved in the spill. The company that made the failed blowout preventer paid BP $250 million .

I’m Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.