Firm’s financial pain offset by rising oil prices as it winds down payouts from 2010 disaster
Adam VaughanLast modified on Tue 16 Jan 2018 22.01 GMT
BP is nearing the end of the $65bn (£47bn) Deepwater Horizon compensation process, it said as it announced an unexpectedly high payout of $1.7bn among the final few hundred outstanding claims.
The British oil firm said on Tuesday it would pay the $1.7bn charge in the last quarter of 2017 for court-ordered payments resulting from the worst oil spill in US history. It means BP will have paed out $3bn in compensation for 2017, compared with the $2bn anticipated.
The jump in spill-related costs is a reminder of how difficult it has been for the company to draw a line under Deepwater, eight years on from the Gulf of Mexico disaster, which affected everyone from fishermen to people working in tourism.
BP said the increase was partly due to a court ruling last year that tied the compensation to the company’s revenues.
The average compensation ruling levied by the US body that imposes the payouts has increased seven-fold over the past year, suggesting the most expensive and tricky claims have been left till last.
While $3bn is significantly less than the $7bn BP paid out in 2016, it was enough to upset investors. The company’s share price fell 2.65% on Tuesday, to 518.60p.