BP agrees £4.9bn Gulf of Mexico spill payout

 

BP has reached a £4.9bn deal with thousands of people hit by the oil giant's Gulf of Mexico disaster.

The company said it expected the money - $7.8bn - to come from the $20bn (£12.6bn) compensation fund that it set up following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in 2010, the worst spill in US history.

BP stressed today the proposed settlement was "not an admission of liability".

Bob Dudley, BP Group's chief executive, said: "From the beginning, BP stepped up to meet our obligations to the communities in the Gulf Coast region and we've worked hard to deliver on that commitment for nearly two years.

"The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast."

BP still has to resolve claims by the US government, Gulf states and its partners in the doomed Deepwater Horizon project, in which pressure from a well a mile below the ocean's surface blew up a massive drilling rig, killing 11 men and spewing oil into the sea for nearly three months.

The settlement will have no cap to compensate the complaints, who include thousands of fishermen who lost work, but BP's £4.9bn estimate makes it one of the largest class-action settlements.

After the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989, the company ultimately settled with the US government for $1bn, which would be about $1.8bn (£1.1bn) today.

The 2010 spill exposed oil industry failings and forced BP chief executive Tony Hayward to step down.

The Gulf of Mexico spill soiled sensitive tidal estuaries and beaches, killing wildlife and shutting vast areas to commercial fishing.

After several attempts to cap the well failed, engineers were finally successful on July 15, halting the flow of oil into the Gulf after more than 85 days.

Following the disaster, the main targets of legal action were BP, Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron International, maker of the well's failed blow-out preventer.

BP, the majority owner of the well that blew out, was leasing the rig from Transocean.

The US government sued some of the companies involved in the drilling project and opened a separate criminal investigation, but that probe has not resulted in any charges.

The companies also sued each other, but some of those cases were settled last year. In one pending lawsuit, BP has sued Transocean for at least $40bn (£25.3bn) in damages.

A trial in the case, due to begin on Monday, has now been postponed for a second time, with no new date immediately set.

BP was due to be in the dock in New Orleans next week alongside contractors Halliburton and Transocean as a single judge decided who was to blame for what happened when the rig exploded.

The company was to face the wrath of the US government, several states, local authorities and hundreds of independent plaintiffs in a hearing before federal judge Carl Barbier.

Judge Barber said the settlement would "likely result in a realignment of the parties".

He said the trial was being adjourned "in order to allow the parties to reassess their respective positions".

BP has so far paid out $7.5bn (£4.7bn) in clean-up costs and compensation.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
people
Sport
Diego Costa, Ross Barkley, Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers, Alan Pardew and Christian Eriksen
footballRodgers is right to be looking over his shoulder, while something must be done about diving
Life and Style
gaming
Arts and Entertainment
Carl Barat and Pete Dohrety in an image from the forthcoming Libertines short film
filmsPete Doherty and Carl Barat are busy working on songs for a third album
Arts and Entertainment
films
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: PR, Marketing & Events Executive - Southwark, London - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: PR Marketing & Events Exe...

Selby Jennings: C++ Developer – Hedge Fund – New York

$80000 - $110000 per annum, Benefits: Bonus and Employee Investment Scheme: Se...

Selby Jennings: Java Developer Enterprise Specialist –Paris,France

€30000 - €50000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus: Selby Jennings: Java D...

Selby Jennings: QA Engineer Lead – Hedge Fund – Chicago

$60000 - $90000 per annum, Benefits: Competitive Bonus and Employee Investment ...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible