Advertisement

BP legal move to cut civil liability

Oil giant BP has taken legal steps to cut the civil damages it faces for the Deepwater Horizon disaster by up to 3.4bn dollars.

Oil giant BP has taken legal steps to cut the civil damages it faces for the Deepwater Horizon disaster by up to 3.4bn dollars.

The firm has asked a New Orleans court hearing the case against it for civil penalties and damages to rule that at least 810,000 barrels of oil had been captured during the spill and it should not be fined for them.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Deepwater Horizon rig, which was leased by BP, exploded on April 20th 2010, killing 11 workers and leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in US history.

Under the US Clean Water Act each barrel of oil spilled can result in a fine of up to $4,300 if the guilty party is found to have acted with gross negligence.

The US attorney-general, Eric Holder, has already said he intends "to prove that BP was grossly negligent in causing the oil spill", something the company denies.

BP could face a fine of up to $21bn based on the US government's estimate that 4.9m barrels of oil escaped from the well.

The firm argues that it captured 810,000 barrels-worth escaping from the Macondo well and claims it should not "be penalised for not only trying to do the right thing, but successfully doing the right thing and keeping oil out of the marine environment".

If the court accepts the argument it could reduce the maximum possible fine to $17.6bn.

BP struck a deal with the US government in November, which will see it pay $4.5bn, including a $1.26bn criminal fine.

The oil giant has already spent $14bn on cleaning up the oil spill and compensation to local people and businesses.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

An economics lesson from my barber
Inflation

An economics lesson from my barber

On reopening his shop after lockdown, Dominic Frisby’s barber doubled his prices. It’s all part of the post-Covid inflation process – and we’re going …
8 Jul 2020
Three ideas for Lloyds Bank's new boss
UK stockmarkets

Three ideas for Lloyds Bank's new boss

The Black Horse needs whipping into shape. A change at the top provides a great opportunity, says Matthew Lynn.
12 Jul 2020
Why the moving average is my favourite charting tool
Sponsored

Why the moving average is my favourite charting tool

Traders and technical analysts use "moving averages" to iron out daily fluctuations and give a much clearer picture of a market's direction. Dominic …
13 Jul 2020