Business

BP seeks to wrest back Gulf of Mexico compensation

  • 28 June 2014
  • From the section Business
The Deepwater Horizon burns
The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers

BP has asked a US court to order a "vast number" of businesses to repay part of the compensation awards they were paid in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The oil firm said the administrator in charge of processing the claims allowed businesses to inflate their losses.

Last year a US court agreed the process was unfair but now the British company wants the money back with interest.

BP has fought a long legal battle in US courts to limit the compensation bill.

In a court filing on Friday, BP asked a US judge to order the businesses to repay the overpayments plus interest, and requested an injunction to prevent firms spending what it called their "windfall".

Earlier in June the US Supreme Court refused to allow BP to stop paying compensation claims while it awaited the outcome of its legal appeals.

Inflated claims

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig, off the coast of Louisiana, killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in US history.

In the wake of that disaster, BP reached the terms of a settlement to compensate businesses. The firm initially estimated it would pay $7.8bn (£4.6bn) in business claims.

But the oil company has argued that the terms are being misinterpreted and that compensation claims were being inflated.

BP cited a number of examples to support its case, saying that under the new policy, a seller of animal skins would have been paid $14m less, while a building firm based hundreds of miles from the Gulf would have been paid $8.4m less.

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