Mitsui & Co. has refrained from paying $480 million in bills from BP for costs related to the damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well, in which the trading house holds an indirect stake.
Mitsui is expecting more bills from BP for cleaning up the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Chief Financial Officer Junichi Matsumoto said at a news conference Tuesday, when it announced a 79 percent gain in first-quarter earnings.
BP booked a pretax charge of $32.2 billion related to costs from the disaster, including $20 billion reserved to pay damages. Robert Dudley, who will replace Tony Hayward as chief executive officer Oct. 1, has said BP will “vigorously” pursue its partners for costs.
Mitsui owns 70 percent of Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., which holds 10 percent of the field where the Macondo well is located through wholly owned U.S. subsidiary MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC, according to Mitsui Oil’s Web site. Both MOEX and Anadarko Petroleum Co., which holds a 25 percent share in the well, have said they are withholding payments for spill costs.
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