Oilspill

The administrator responsible for managing the BP oil spill compensation fund has said that more than $5bn has been paid to the claimants, so far.

Administrator Patrick Juneau said that a total of $5.037bn has been paid to 62,162 claimants. These details come five days ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the BP-owned, Transocean-operated Macondo Prospect resulted in the death of 11 people.

The oil spill led to a discharge of approximately 4.9m barrels, and the well had to be eventually sealed in September 2010.

Following the accident, BP established a $20bn trust fund to settle claims. Juneau was appointed to manage it.

However, there were many controversies attached to the compensation, as BP blamed Juneau of improperly awarding payouts to people who were not affected by the disaster.

The Guardian earlier reported that Juneau had processed close to a quarter of the 194,800 claims received, and made compensation offers worth $3.86bn by 2013.

"We share with Juneau and the claims facility the goal of compensating the people and businesses of the Gulf under the terms of the settlement agreement."

International Business Times quoted BP America president John Mingé as saying previously: "We appreciate the work that has been done to develop and implement improved processes to, among other things, detect and prevent the payment of fraudulent claims.

"We share with Juneau and the claims facility the goal of compensating the people and businesses of the Gulf under the terms of the settlement agreement."

BP originally planned to pay $7.8bn in compensation, but by February the estimated settlement expenses rose to $9.9bn.

According to Juneau, a large part of the settlement money was paid to businesses, particulary those pertaining to seafood.


Image: Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill reaching the coast of Mobile, Alabama, in 2010. Photo: Public domain.