Judge tosses spill claims against BP contractor

A New Orleans court has dismissed all claims related to Weatherford International equipment used at BP’s ill-fated Macondo well, the company said Monday.

Last year Weatherford, maker of a device called a float collar used in the final cementing of the well, agreed to pay BP $75 million in exchange for protection against any compensatory claims for the 2010 blowout, rig explosion and oil spill. Compensatory claims could include payments for such damages as the effects on tourism or fishing.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier dismissed Weatherford from any claims not covered by the payment to BP, such as civil fines and claims for punitive damages.

In the summary judgment, which other parties didn’t oppose, Barbier agreed that “there is no evidence that the Weatherford float collar used in the production string of the Macondo Well was defective … or that any actions or inactions by Weatherford caused or contributed to the cause” of the blowout and spill.

The decision closes any possibility that Weatherford will have to pay further fines or claims. An insurance policy covered the payment to BP.