BP ‘nearing’ €9.4bn disaster deal
Oil giant BP is reportedly nearing a £7.4 billion (€9.4 billion) settlement with US authorities as it seeks to draw a line under the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The group hopes to unveil a deal with the US Department of Justice by September that would resolve all criminal and civil penalties, removing the spectre of a lengthy and costly legal battle.
It has already provided €30 billion to cover many of the costs following the disaster, which killed 11 workers in April 2010 and unleashed the biggest oil spill in American history.
But this figure includes just €2.8 billion to cover charges under the Clean Water Act, which could rise to up to €14.2 billion if BP is found grossly negligent.
It is thought BP is looking for a “grand settlement” of €19 billion covering Clean Water Act fines plus potential criminal charges and other damages.
That would mean it has to find a further €9.4 billion.
The Obama Administration, which is keen to use the settlement as a potential vote winner ahead of the presidential election, is understood to be pushing for $25 billion (€20 billion) but both sides are thought keen to reach an agreement.
A deal would be seen as a coup for chief executive Bob Dudley, who is under pressure to revive the company’s fortunes. Its shares are still a third lower than before the disaster.
BP is aiming to sell up to €11.5 billion in assets by the end of this year to complete its money-raising programme.