BP set to appeal in US court over oil spill payments

Last year the firm set aside $7.8bn to pay compensation for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but it fears that it may end up paying more.

Oil spill protest.
Activists staging a protest. Credit: Getty Images.

BP, the British oil and gas giant, is set to appeal today in a US court to reject the administrator’s interpretation of the claims settlement over the massive 2010 oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

A panel of three judges from the US Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear the firm’s arguments for overturning a ruling by the lower court and restrain Patrick Juneau, the court-appointed administrator.

Juneau has allegedly misinterpreted the agreement reached with victims and has approved millions of dollars in payments to several businesses who have made fraudulent claims.

The oil giant fears that terms of the last year’s compensation scheme is being abused with excessive and fictitious claims.

Last week, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louis Freeh, was appointed to conduct an independent investigation into alleged misconduct over payments to settle claims filed by people who were affected by the oil spill disaster in 2010.

Last year, the firm set aside $7.8bn (£5.2bn) to pay compensation for the disaster, but the firm has been increasingly concerned that it may end up paying more.