BP is hoping that a US appeals court will get it out of a big fix over a settlement deal for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill as billions more in claims pour in as loopholes open up new opportunities for settlement losses.
The interpretation of an $8 billion settlement with oil spill victims last year leaves a lot of doors open here, specifically because the agreement does not stipulate that claimants must prove that losses were related to the spill and sets no cap on compensation.
BP is now concerned that it could see countless billions added to its settlement bill, which has already cost $42 billion.
Among those new claims is a $21 million settlement for a rice mill operating 40 miles from the coast and from the oil spill, and whose profits, BP maintains, actually increased in 2010.
Related article: Are Pipeline Spills a Foregone Conclusion?
BP is now pleading with a US appeals court to have the interpretation of the 2012 settlement deal amended. A US District Judge has already agreed with the interpretation.
But the fact is, BP was a bit hasty with this deal, hoping to close out the case of the worst oil spill in history and start fresh. It was a panicked decision.
The 2012 settlement deal is only an estimate—one that is likely to be way off, to the tune of tens of billions.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear BP’s appeal on 8 July, but analysts are not optimistic that they will reverse any earlier decisions.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com