17 May 2013

BP in jeopardy over fictitious compensation claims

5:58 am on 17 May 2013

BP fears it may be irreparably harmed by the high level of compensation awarded to businesses damaged by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The company feels its financial recovery is in jeopardy because the compensation system is being abused.

BP wants British Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene over the escalating cost of compensating US companies for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in 2010.

The BBC's business editor has learned that the company fears the financial burden of paying fictitious and inflated claims may even make BP a takeover target.

BP hopes Mr Cameron will raise the issue raise the issue at a G8 meeting , which Britain is hosting next month.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 men. An estimated four million barrels of oil was spilled into the Gulf and along the coastline.

BP put aside $US7.8 billion when it agreed to pay compensation in 2012, but the company now expects the final figure to be much higher.

Last year, BP agreed to pay compensation to around 100,000 people and companies, including fishermen and restaurant owners, who claimed their livelihoods and health had been affected.

However, the company feels that the rules under which "business economic loss" is assessed, are being systematically abused.

Mr Cameron said he was "hugely concerned" about that situation.