Despite ruthless bickering at Senate hearings today, BP (BP) and Transocean (RIG) may be inclined to protect an partnership worth more than $2 billion over the next six years.BP has ongoing contracts on six Transocean rigs, according to company reports.
These include the 825-foot-long Discoverer Enterprise, which BP has leased in the Gulf of Mexico through March 2011 at $523,000-a-day. BP is also leasing the GSF Development Driller II, GSF Development Driller III, Sedco Express, Paul B. Loyd Jr., and GSF Constellation 1.
Both companies declined to comment on the effects of a possible lawsuit on their partnership.
As long as no one is clearly at fault, we expect they will try to downplay the incident. The millions BP is spending to clean up the disaster are nothing compared to the potential damages in a lawsuit — and the billions they lost in market cap will come back quickly if oil keeps flowing.
Watch for BP, Transocean, and Halliburton to try and make it all just go quietly away, rather than dragging out the battle in courts.
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