BP to take $1.7bn Deepwater Horizon oil spill charge

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed 11 people in April 2010 and saw 4.2 barrels of oil spilt into the Gulf of Mexico

Shafi Musaddique
Tuesday 16 January 2018 11:45 GMT
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Believed to be the worst oil spill in maritime history, the disaster caused health issues for locals and workers
Believed to be the worst oil spill in maritime history, the disaster caused health issues for locals and workers (Reuters)

BP is expected to take a $1.7bn (£1.2bn) charge in its fourth quarter results as it winds down settlement over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the US.

The oil giant said it expects to spread the impact of the charge over multiple years.

Total cash payments made this year related to the disaster are expected to be around $3bn, $1bn more than the company’s previous estimate of £2bn.

“With the claims facility’s work very nearly done, we now have better visibility into the remaining liability,” said BP’s chief financial officer Brian Gilvary.

“The charge we are taking as a result is fully manageable within our existing financial framework, especially now that we have the company back into balance at $50 per barrel.”

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill killed 11 people in April 2010 and saw 4.2 barrels of oil spilt into the Gulf of Mexico.

Believed to be the worst oil spill in maritime history, documents released in 2016 showed government scientists expressed concern about the use of chemicals to break up the oil spill.

Health experts believe the toxic mix of chemical dispersants and crude oil sickened thousands of locals and some of the 47,000 people that worked on BP’s clean-up operation.

“Exposure to organic solvents causes the same intellectual effect as lead poisoning,” said Dr Michael Harbut in 2016, an environmental and occupational health expert who served as a consultant for the plaintiffs on the lawsuit filed against BP in 2010.

In 2012, BP agreed to a $7.8bn medical settlement that would compensate victims up to $60,700 per person and allowed people to file further claims if they developed serious health problems.

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