BP, in its latest annual report, has said it anticipates it will have to pay more than it previously estimated for compensation for private financial and property damage in relation to the Deepwater Horizon crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company said that average payments for business economic losses until now have been much higher than estimated earlier, and significantly more than $7.7bn.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley last week said that the company has so far spent about $24bn as part of the cleanup and restoration costs and payments in relation to claims made by individuals, businesses and governments relating to the disaster.
Dudley noted that the multinational firm has spent or provisioned more than $40bn in total for the incident, which killed 11 people in 2010.
According to BP, the cost of the plaintiffs’ steering-committee settlement was higher than anticipated, as the administrator of the compensation fund has used a more liberal analysis of the payout agreement than BP had understood initially.
In February 2013, the company said that it expects payouts to cost $8.5bn, which was an increase from the original estimation of $7.8bn in 2012.
The company is currently facing a civil trial in New Orleans, which could bring additional compensation amounting to more than $17.6bn, as reported byThe Wall Street Journal.
The trial is to asign blame for the disaster, while a second trial, which is expected to begin in the fall, will determine how much oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. The result of the two trials will decide the size of the compensation BP has to pay under the US Clean Water Act.
The fines are estimated to be as much as $17.6bn. However, BP said the fines should be a maximum of $3.4bn.
Image: BP chief executive Bob Dudley. Photo courtesy of Premier.gov.ru.