BP calls for retrial over Deepwater Horizon disaster penalties

The oil giant had put aside more than $42 billion in provisions for spill

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The Independent Online

BP has upped the ante in its battle to avoid paying out up to $15 billion of extra penalties relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The FTSE 100 giant has called for a retrial or revised judgment following last month’s decision by a New Orleans court that it was “grossly negligent” over the April 2010 spill, claiming there was a legal mistake in the ruling.

This is the first formal response to the decision, which could add as much as $15 billion to its total costs for the disaster that killed 11 people in April 2010 and spilled several million barrels of oil into the sea. “BP respectfully requests that the court eliminate its theory that this series of acts amounted to gross negligence. In the alternative, BP would be entitled to a new trial,” the company said in a court filing.


BP argues that Judge Carl Barbier relied on evidence that had been excluded from the trial when reaching his findings.

If Judge Barbier will not revise his ruling to exclude the evidence, he should reopen the trial to allow BP to put forward arguments to address it, the company contends.

Shares in BP rose 1 per cent to 443.89p. The oil giant had put aside more than $42 billion in provisions for the tragedy, and has already paid out more than $28 billion on costs such as damages.