A divided U.S. appeals court has rejected BP Plc's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if they could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.
By a 2-1 vote, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New
Orleans late Monday upheld a Dec. 24 ruling by U.S. District
Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, authorizing the payments on
so-called business economic loss claims. It also said an
injunction preventing payments should be lifted.
The decision is a setback for BP's effort to limit payments
under a multi-billion dollar settlement over the April 20, 2010,
explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and rupture of
BP's Macondo oil well.
That disaster killed 11 people and triggered the largest
U.S. offshore oil spill.
Geoff Morrell, a BP spokesman, said the company may appeal.
BP had previously asked the full 5th Circuit to review a Jan. 10
decision by another three-judge panel that upheld the settlement
BP previously settled U.S. criminal proceedings over the
spill, and has completed two phases of a three-part civil trial
before Barbier, where it could face more than $17 billion of
The company has set aside $42.7 billion for cleanup,
compensation, legal and other costs related to the spill,
. It has estimated that business economic loss
claims in the latest appeal totaled about $1 billion.
"Each $1 billion extra on claims equates to just 2 pence per
share for BP," Investec analysts said in a note.
BP shares traded down 0.3 percent at 491.6 pence in late
afternoon trading in London.