Embattled BP have come under further pressure after one of its partners said the British oil giant should shoulder all the financial burden for the Gulf of Mexico spill.
Anadarko Petroleum, which owns a quarter of the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well, last night refused to accept any blame for the explosion that killed 11 workers and sparked America's worst environmental disaster.
The company's chairman and chief executive Jim Hackett said in a statement that BP's actions probably amounted to "gross negligence or wilful misconduct" and insisted it should foot the whole damage bill.
BP's chief executive Tony Hayward, who endured a marathon grilling from US politicians on Thursday, said he "strongly disagreed" with the allegation and expected the firm's partners to "live up to their obligations".
The latest blow for BP came as confusion reigned over the role of under-fire Mr Hayward.
On Friday the company's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said Mr Hayward had been relieved of day-to-day control of the spill and that BP managing director Bob Dudley would now take over.
Meanwhile, other BP officials insisted that Mr Hayward remained in charge of the immediate crisis which has seen millions of gallons of oil continue to threaten the Gulf Coast.