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BP announces Cameron settlement over Gulf oil spill

Crews fight the deadly fire aboard BP's Deepwater Horizon rig
Image caption BP and Halliburton are locked in a legal battle ahead of a damages trial over the disaster

Oil giant BP has agreed a settlement with contractor Cameron International over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Cameron was the designer and manufacturer of the blow-out preventer on the Deep Water Horizon project, which failed during the spill.

Under the agreement, which settles all claims between the firms, Cameron will pay BP $250m (£161.3m)

The money will be put into the $20bn trust BP set up for victims of the disaster, in which 11 people died.

The agreement is not an admission of liability by either Cameron or BP for last year's explosion, which led to the release of an estimated 780 million litres (206m gallons) of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The firms say the blast was the result of "complex and interlinked causes" involving multiple companies.

"Cameron is the fourth company to settle with BP and contribute to economic and environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf," said BP chief executive, Bob Dudley, in a statement.

"Unfortunately, other companies persist in refusing to accept responsibility for their roles in the accident and for contributing to restoration efforts," he added.

Halliburton dispute

The deal with Cameron follows settlements between BP and MOEX and Andarko, the UK firm's partners in the Macondo well. BP has also settled with a supplier, Weatherford.

However, BP remains in legal disputes with two of the largest companies involved in the project: Transocean, the owner and operator of the Deep Water Horizon rig, and Halliburton, which did the cementing job at the well.

BP has accused Halliburton of destroying evidence relating to the causes of the disaster.

At a hearing in a New Orleans court, BP said Halliburton had "intentionally" destroyed test results on its cement product used at the Macondo well.

Halliburton has denied this, saying the claims were "without merit".

The world's second-largest oilfields services provider has also accused BP of fraud and defamation in the investigation.

The trial between the two firms is due to being in February.

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