BP, Transocean Told To Alert US To Acts That Deplete Assets
The U.S. Justice Department told BP Plc, Transocean Ltd. and three other companies associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to provide the government with advance notice of corporate actions that may deplete assets that could cover judgments against them.
The letters, dated June 23 and provided to Bloomberg News in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, also went to Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Halliburton Co. and Moex USA Corp., and described “significant” potential liability for each of the companies.
Each of the letters said the U.S. has a “compelling interest” to ensure the companies don’t “deplete those assets that would be available to satisfy a judgment” should they be found liable to the U.S.
Attorney General Eric Holder has said the American people won’t pay for cleanup costs and that the government will take the steps needed to ensure those responsible cover the costs.
The letters ask for notice of events including disbursements, sales, restructuring and acquisitions.
London-based BP is the operator of the well pouring crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico; Anadarko, based in Woodlands, Texas, owns 25 percent of the well. Transocean, based in Geneva, owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded in an accident that killed 11 workers and sent oil gushing. Halliburton, based in Houston, provided drilling services. Mitsui & Co., based in Tokyo, owns a majority stake in Moex, which holds a 10 percent stake in the well.