BP has struck a deal to settle all federal, state and local claims against it for its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for $18.7 billion. It would pay out that sum over 18 years, BP said Thursday.
A federal appeals court last year upheld Barbier’s conclusion about BP’s and Anadarko’s liability under the Clean Water Act. The offshore explosion released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf, the largest spill in U.S. history.
The cost estimate means the remaining legal aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which includes impending environmental fines and settlement payments, could run up another $16 billion to $24 billion as the tangle of litigation around the spill unfolds for the next few years.
Claims administrator Patrick Juneau says there has been an uptick in the number of filings as the deadline approached. He said claims centers in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas will be open until midnight to handle claims.
Any fine above $2 billion against BP for the Deepwater Horizon disaster would be “extraordinary and severe,” double the highest-ever U.S. water-pollution fine and potentially crippling its American oil business, BP said in court documents.
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