(CNN) -- The chief of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation said Friday that the oil spill in the Gulf was the "the direct result of BP's reckless decisions and actions" and, as such, BP should continue to pay all legitimate claims.
BP was the company's partner in the drilling of the well that has been spewing oil and gas into the gulf since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 men.
Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett added in a statement that "BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement."
The statement said that the joint operating agreement provides that BP is responsible to its co-owners for damages caused by its gross negligence or willful misconduct.
"We recognize that ultimately we have obligations under federal law related to the oil spill, but will look to BP to continue to pay all legitimate claims as they have repeatedly stated that they will do," Hackett said.
In response, BP said it "strongly disagrees with these allegations" and reiterated its pledge to clean up the Gulf and pay all legitimate claims related to the spill.
"These allegations will neither distract the company's focus on stopping the leak nor alter our commitment to restore the Gulf coast," said BP's Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward. "Other parties besides BP may be responsible for costs and liabilities arising from the oil spill, and we expect those parties to live up to their obligations. But how the costs and liabilities are eventually allocated between various parties will not affect our unwavering pledge to step forward in the first instance to clean up the spill and pay all legitimate claims in an efficient and fair manner."