07 October 2015

BP gets 'the punishment it deserves' says Attorney General

BP has settled litigation by US states following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

By Bernard Goyder

The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was an environmental disaster costing BP billions. Danny E Hooks

BP is settling civil claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster for US$20.8bn, in a deal described by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch as 'the punishment it deserves'. The plaintiffs include the five Southern US states affected by the 2010 oil spill: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. 

The Financial Times reports that BP will pay US$5.5bn for breaches of the Clean Water Act 1972, while local and state governments will get US$5.9bn from the British oil giant. 

BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said: 'This settlement resolves the largest litigation liabilities remaining from the tragic accident, providing BP certainty with respect to its financial obligations and allowing us to focus on safely delivering the energy the world needs.'

'On April 20, 2010, eleven men tragically lost their lives in a devastating explosion and oil spill off of our Gulf Coast,' said David Vitter, a Republican senator for Lousiana. 'It's vitally important to hold BP accountable for the damage and ongoing consequences of the spill, especially when Louisiana relies so heavily on our coastal resources'.

BP GC Rupurt Bondy will hope the Department of Justice-coordinated agreement brings to a close the deluge of costly litigation that followed the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Sources: Financial TimesTimes-Picayune

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