Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Tronox Inc. have set their trial on hold so they can discuss a settlement in the $25 billion dispute over environmental liabilities left over from former Oklahoma City energy firm Kerr-McGee Corp.
Houston-based Anadarko bought Kerr-McGee in 2006 for $18 billion.
Chemicals company Tronox spun off from Kerr-McGee in 2005 and filed from bankruptcy in 2008. The company emerged from bankruptcy last year. Tronox last month moved its headquarters to Stamford, Conn., but said it will keep its corporate-support services, some division offices and a research and development center in Oklahoma City.
Tronox claims it should not have been saddled with Kerr-McGee environmental liabilities in its spinoff. The chemicals company is asking for $15 billion in assets and $10 billion in interest payments from Anadarko and has said the Houston company should be responsible for cleaning up 2,000 polluted sites throughout the country.
Under terms of Tronox’s previous settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency, Tronox paid the government $270 million in cash and pledged 88 percent of its winnings in the lawsuit against Anadarko. The remaining 12 percent will be set aside for trusts designed for environmental cleanup.