Just because APC had a 25% share, doesn't seem to mean that's all they'd be responsible for, under certain circumstances. What if other parties declare bankruptcy? Under joint and several liability, it would appear that APC could be stuck for the entire cost.
I believe the issue here is whether BP alone, as operator, will be found to be willfully negligent, causing the loss of life, the platform, and the spill. We don't know what liability agreements may be in their contracts but if APC had no knowledge of BPs bad decisions and no opportunity to mitigate sub-standard practices, then it would seem that APC is really one of the injured parties and should seek damages from BP. Is there anything analogous to this situation which might provide some clarity? What is the liability of a silent minor partner when the majority partner causes damages? In any case, I think BP, rather than being permitted to file for bankruptcy, will probably be a ward of the state, producing oil for many years to pay back the people and municipalities who have been affected.
This is why Obama is wanting the escrow account...so he can have cash in his fist and ask questions later. The "independent third party" to admin the fund is a joke. It will probably be Nancy Pelosi. Once the money goes into the slot machine, it won't come out. It will surely be in there for decades.