French oil giant's pay out includes £5m to Allianz

Allianz will look to claw back £5m from Total after a High Court judgement pinned responsibility for the Buncefield oil explosion on the French oil giant.

The ruling ends the dispute between Total and Chevron over who should pay for damage caused by the explosion in Hemel Hempstead in December 2005.

Allianz has settled £5m in property and business interruption claims for the explosion at the fuel storage depot at Hemel Hempstead in December, 2005.

Allianz, teaming up with other insurers such as RSA, AXA and NU, had got some of that money back from Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd (HOSL) - which is joint owned by Chevron and Total.

Today's ruling means that Total will now have to meet all costs - thought to be £700m - instead of Chevron.

Chevron had been disputing the claim saying that since the explosion was caused by error on the part of Total employees, full liability should lie with Total.

The estimated cost which Total must now meet in full, includes claims for personal injury, property damage and compensation for economic losses.

Harry Rule, property claims manager for Allianz said: “The in-fighting between Total and Chevron over how they share the cost has caused another layer of delay in what has been a three year legal ‘jamboree’ involving successive attempts to deny paying compensation for much of the losses suffered.

“Claimants have been forced to wait, and this includes Allianz, and unnecessary legal expense has been incurred since the trial began last October.”