British Petroleum Reaches $7.8 Billion Deal Over Oil Spill
Houston, March 5 (RHC)-- BP says it has reached a $7.8 billion deal with the largest group of plaintiffs suing the company over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig spill. The agreement will benefit some 100,000 fishermen, local residents and clean-up workers whose livelihoods or health suffered.
The company has not admitted liability and still faces claims from the U.S. and State governments, as well as drilling firms. The rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 workers and leaking four million barrels of oil.
BP says it expects the money to come from a $20 billion compensation fund it had previously set aside. British Petroleum said that "the proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast."
Lawyers for the plaintiffs' group, the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, said the settlement "does the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people."
A trial in the case, due to begin on Monday, will now be delayed -- for a second time -- as a result of the deal. The judge said that the trial was due to resolve claims for damages and civil penalties arising from the spill and that it will eventually still go ahead in order to apportion blame for the spill among BP and its fellow defendants.
Other companies involved include Transocean, who owned the rig, and Halliburton. All the companies are in dispute with each other over their liability in the oil spill nearly two years ago.