BP Share Price: Energy Group Challenging “Inflated” Payments

on Jun 26, 2013
Updated: Feb 27, 2024

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iNVEZZ.com Wednesday, June 26th: London-based oil and gas company BP (LON:BP) is mounting an offensive to challenge what could be billions of dollars in payouts to businesses affected by its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Reportedly, the energy giant responsible for the disaster, which killed 11 rig workers three years ago, is sending letters to lawyers representing businesses which BP believes have received excessive compensation payments under the settlement for victims of the blowout. The company is warning the plaintiffs’ attorneys that it may seek to recover at least a portion of their clients’ shares of the multibillion-dollar settlement if it successfully appeals a key ruling in the legal wrangling. “BP reserves whatever rights it may have to pursue any legal method to recover such overpayments,” company attorney Daniel Cantor wrote in the letter.

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BP has also launched an ad campaign, placing a full-page advertisement in three of the largest newspapers in the US, as it aims to stem the flow of cash out of the company over the oil spill. The advertisement, scheduled to run in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post today, accuses “trial lawyers and some politicians” in the Gulf of Mexico region of “encouraging the submission of thousands of claims for inflated losses”.

“Whatever you think about BP, we can all agree that it’s wrong for anyone to take money they don’t deserve,” the ad reads, adding that the company remains “fully committed to paying legitimate claims due to the accident.”
**Escalating Offensive**
The latest moves are part of BP’s increasingly aggressive campaign to challenge a judge’s interpretation of the settlement’s terms. In April, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier upheld a court-appointed claims administrator’s interpretation of the multi-billion dollar settlement it reached with a group of plaintiffs’ attorneys. The London-based oil giant appealed the decision. The case is now being heard by the Fifth

Circuit court of appeals in New Orleans, with a hearing scheduled for July 8.
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Fighting against the “inflated” payments ahead of the key ruling, last week BP wrote two letters to Barbier, alleging “extremely high costs and low productivity” at the court-supervised administration programme. The oil and gas company has been pushing for the appointment of an independent investigator to review the administration of claims under the settlement, which is currently being led by Louisiana lawyer Patrick Juneau. The payouts administrator has objected to BP’s attempts to raise the public profile of the issue, saying: “The proper venue to address these issues is the court.”

**At 10:39 GMT today the BP share price, which has gained almost 13 percent in the past year, was 450.25p, 0.38 percent above its previous day’s closing level. The stock reached a session high of 453.12p in morning trading in London.**
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