A US appeals court has ruled BP will be held liable for pollution-law violations, which could cost billions of dollars, in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
BP and Anadarko are co-owners of the well that blew out and triggered the 2010 environmental disaster which killed 11 men. The ruling in the Court of Appeals in New Orleans confirmed a lower court’s decision and means the US could impose a maximum fine of $18 billion (£10.74 billion) on BP.
BP has set aside $42.7 billion for the disaster. The oil major has paid out $27 billion — $14 billion for the clean up and $13 billion in local compensation claims.
Last week, BP went to the US Supreme Court to ask Justice Antonin Scalia for compensation payments to be temporarily blocked, claiming that it was paying compensation to businesses which haven’t proved that the spill caused a losses. BP said there was the risk that awards “totalling potentially hundreds of millions of dollars” would be paid “to claimants that suffered no injury traceable to BP’s conduct”.
Shares in the oil major fell 2.3p to 495.5p. BP’s shares were worth 650p before the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.