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BP ready for court battle over Gulf of Mexico oil disaster [USA]

BP is prepared for a court fight with US authorities over civil penalties for its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, arguing that the fine it should face should be less than a quarter of the $20bn...estimated by some analysts…BP’s overall provision for the spill includes $3.5bn for fines under the Clean Water Act, although this could be dwarfed by the total possible fine of $20bn. BP disputes the US authorities’ view of both how much oil was spilled and the level of negligence involved. It strenuously denies a charge of gross negligence, which carries a maximum penalty of $4,300 per barrel split… BP…said this month that claims by the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida of $34bn...for economic and property damage under the Oil Pollution Act were “overstated”. BP's total liability could now come to $90bn, BP revealed at its full-year results presentation this month, more than double the amount the British company has set aside for the accident…

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