US Appeals Court, Says BP Bound by Gulf Spill Accord

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, March 04, 2014

By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

A divided U.S. appeals court has rejected BP Plc's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if they could not trace their economic losses to the disaster.

By a 2-1 vote, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans late Monday upheld a Dec. 24 ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, authorizing the payments on so-called business economic loss claims. It also said an injunction preventing payments should be lifted.

The decision is a setback for BP's effort to limit payments under a multi-billion dollar settlement over the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and rupture of BP's Macondo oil well.

That disaster killed 11 people and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill.

Geoff Morrell, a BP spokesman, said the company may appeal. BP had previously asked the full 5th Circuit to review a Jan. 10 decision by another three-judge panel that upheld the settlement itself.

BP previously settled U.S. criminal proceedings over the spill, and has completed two phases of a three-part civil trial before Barbier, where it could face more than $17 billion of penalties.

The company has set aside $42.7 billion for cleanup, compensation, legal and other costs related to the spill, . It has estimated that business economic loss claims in the latest appeal totaled about $1 billion.

"Each $1 billion extra on claims equates to just 2 pence per share for BP," Investec analysts said in a note.

BP shares traded down 0.3 percent at 491.6 pence in late afternoon trading in London.

Resumption of Payment Expected
Barbier ruled that BP would have to live with its earlier interpretation of a Dec. 2012 settlement with businesses and individuals harmed by the spill, in which certain businesses claiming losses were presumed to have suffered harm.

BP argued that this would allow businesses to recover for fictitious losses, but the 5th Circuit rejected its appeal.

"The settlement agreement does not require a claimant to submit evidence that the claim arose as a result of the oil spill," Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick wrote for the majority.

Terms of the settlement "are not as protective of BP's present concerns as might have been achievable, but they are the protections that were accepted by the parties and approved by the district court," the judge added.

The 5th Circuit also said claims administrator Patrick Juneau retained the authority to root out bogus claims, without having to perform the "gatekeeping" function that BP sought.

Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement dissented, saying the decision wrongly helps claimants whose losses had "absolutely nothing to do with Deepwater Horizon or BP's conduct."

Steve Herman and Jim Roy, who represent the business claimants, said in a joint statement: "Today's ruling makes clear that BP can't rewrite the deal it agreed to."

Juneau, in a statement, said the decision "appears to clear the way" for the resumption of payments on business economic loss claims, and that he will resume making such payments upon a formal direction from the district court.

BP originally projected that the settlement would cost $7.8 billion. As of Feb. 4, it had boosted this estimate to $9.2 billion, and said this sum could grow "significantly higher."

As of Monday, about $3.84 billion had been paid out to 42,272 claimants, according to Juneau's website.

The case is In re: Deepwater Horizon, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Nos. 13-30315 and 13-30329.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Crowley Acquires Ace Fuels Assets in Anchorage

Anchorage-based Crowley Fuels yesterday completed an asset acquisition of the aviation fuels business of Ace Fuels, LLC, a fixed base operator (FBO) headquartered

BAE Systems Bags USN Award for Submarine Propulsors

BAE Systems has received a $72 million contract from the U.S. Navy to produce and deliver propulsor systems for Block IV Virginia-class (SSN 774) submarines. The

India Seeks Stake in Iran LNG Terminal

Indian Petroleum Minister Minister Dharmendra Pradhan says India has expressed interest in setting up an LNG terminal at Chahabar port in Iran to ship back home natural gas from Persian Gulf nation,

Environmental

Crowley Acquires Ace Fuels Assets in Anchorage

Anchorage-based Crowley Fuels yesterday completed an asset acquisition of the aviation fuels business of Ace Fuels, LLC, a fixed base operator (FBO) headquartered

Hueneme Port Expands Ship Pollution Reduction Program

The Port of Hueneme launched the second phase of its Grid-Connected Shore Power System, celebrating another next step forward in reducing air emissions and minimizing environmental impact.

Oceans Gasping for Breath, Oxygen Running Low!

Rising levels of CO2 are making it hard for fish to breathe in addition to exacerbating global warming and ocean acidification.   Climate change has caused a

Energy

TOTE LNG Bunker Barge : Crew Training Program

GTT subsidiaries, GTT North America, Inc. and GTT Training Ltd, announce the award of the first contract of its kind for the development and implementation of a

MacGregor Launches Compact Pusnes RamWindlass

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, continues to add to its market-leading Pusnes product range and its latest introduction is a Pusnes RamWindlass. The new windlass is

Crowley Acquires Ace Fuels Assets in Anchorage

Anchorage-based Crowley Fuels yesterday completed an asset acquisition of the aviation fuels business of Ace Fuels, LLC, a fixed base operator (FBO) headquartered

News

TOTE LNG Bunker Barge : Crew Training Program

GTT subsidiaries, GTT North America, Inc. and GTT Training Ltd, announce the award of the first contract of its kind for the development and implementation of a

MacGregor Launches Compact Pusnes RamWindlass

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, continues to add to its market-leading Pusnes product range and its latest introduction is a Pusnes RamWindlass. The new windlass is

Crowley Acquires Ace Fuels Assets in Anchorage

Anchorage-based Crowley Fuels yesterday completed an asset acquisition of the aviation fuels business of Ace Fuels, LLC, a fixed base operator (FBO) headquartered

Government Update

Cruise Ship Makes Historic Trip from US to Cuba

Cruise ship MV Adonia sailed into Havana this morning, completing the first leg of its historic inaugural voyage to Cuba that began on May 1, 2016, from Miami,

French PM: Aussie Subs to be built in Australia

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday he was committed to building all of a new Australian submarine fleet in Australia, apparently contradicting the

Cruise Ship Sails from US tor Cuba for First Time in 50 Years

A cruise ship is sailing to Cuba from the U.S. for the first time in more than 50 years. The Bermuda-flagged Adonia sailed from the port of Miami carrying some 700 passengers on Sunday.

Offshore Energy

TOTE LNG Bunker Barge : Crew Training Program

GTT subsidiaries, GTT North America, Inc. and GTT Training Ltd, announce the award of the first contract of its kind for the development and implementation of a

Growing Presence of Damen FCS 2610's in O&G Markets

The Damen Shipyards Group’s Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 2610 is proving to be every bit as effective in the oil and gas sector as it is in the offshore wind industry.

Highest-Pull Wireline Conveyance System from Schlumberger

Schlumberger announced today the launch of the MaxPull high-pull wireline conveyance system that can pull from 18,000 lbf to 30,000 lbf in wells 40,000 ft [12,192 m] deep or more.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1348 sec (7 req/sec)