Judge rejects BP's appeal to reduce billion-pound fine for 2010 oil spill

Company may still be liable for up to $13.7bn

BP has lost a bid to reduce the multi-billion pound fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

US judge Carl Barbier rejected British Petroleum’s appeal to reduce the $13.7bn (£8.9bn) fine by capping the amount at $3,000 per barrel, citing the country’s Clean Water Act, and upholding that the firm should be liable for the maximum amount, $4,300 per barrel.

Judge Barbier’s decision means that the company, whose shares were trading today at 445.90, could face the full $13bn of civil fines.

It remains unclear when Judge Barbier, who previously found that BP had been grossly negligent leading up to the explosion, will make his final ruling.

It also remains unclear how much the company may be forced to eventually pay out.

The 2010 oil spill, which was the largest in America’s history, occurred after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 people.

The company claims it has already incurred more than $42bn in liabilities as a result of the spill. This figure includes the cost of the clean-up operation, victim compensation and potential fines.

BP’s criminal liability was settled in 2012 after it agreed to pay $4.5bn to the US government and accepted criminal responsibility for the spill.

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