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Mitsui unit: won't help BP on oil spill cost-Kyodo

TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) - A unit of Japan's Mitsui & Co 8031.T that owns 10 percent of the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico will tell the U.S. Senate on Thursday that it will not reimburse BP BP.L for the oil spill, Kyodo news agency said, boosting Mitsui's shares by as much as 4 percent.

Mitsui Oil Exploration Co (MOECO), 70 percent owned by Japan’s second-biggest trading house, declined to comment on the report.

According to the Kyodo report filed from Washington, the Mitsui unit said in a document submitted for a hearing scheduled on Thursday that under their agreement BP as the operator should shoulder all liability, including compensation costs.

BP is seeking to have Anadarko Petroleum Corp APC.N, which has 25 percent of the well, and Mitsui to pay part of the cleanup costs required under the U.S. Oil Pollution Act.

Mitsui will abandon profits from the ruptured well, Kyodo quoted Naoki Ishii, president of a group company of MOECO, as saying. “Our position is that we want to assist people suffering from the disaster using the money from the oil sale,” Ishii was quoted as saying.

The Senate panel is inviting Ishii and Anadarko’s CEO James Hackett to testify on their views on the responsibility for the accident, which killed 11 people and caused the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, Kyodo said.

MOECO said it would make public the document submitted for the hearing on Friday Japan time on its website.

Shares in Mitsui, which had lost 30 percent since the April 20 accident, finished up 2.3 percent in Tokyo at 1,113 yen, while the broader Nikkei average .N225 lost 0.6 percent. (Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Michael Watson)

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