Mitsui unit settles liability in Macondo well incident

MOEX Offshore LLC agreed to pay $90 million to settle its liability in the Macondo deepwater well incident and spill in 2010, the US Department of Justice, Coast Guard, and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced on Feb. 17. Approximately half the settlement will go directly to the gulf as penalties or expedited environmental projects, they indicated.

Under the agreement, the MOEX USA Corp. subsidiary, which is a part of Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Ltd., will pay $70 million in fines and spend another $20 million to facilitate land acquisition projects in several US Gulf Coast states, the federal entities said.

The company was a minority investor in the well at the time of the incident and spill, but no longer owns any share in it. The proposed settlement in US District Court for Louisiana’s Eastern District is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval.

It does not affect the government’s claims against other defendants in a lawsuit stemming from the incident. The trial in that case’s first phase is scheduled to begin Feb. 27 in federal district court in New Orleans, DOJ said.

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