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2 Jul 2015

Ed Crooks & Christopher Adams, Financial Times (USA)

BP settlement puts a value on clarity [Subscription required]

...Although the total promised by BP is the largest ever environmental settlement for a single company, it is modest when compared with the sums that those governments had claimed, or were potentially looming, in the future. Moreover, it is spread over a period of 15 to 18 years...Uncertainties remain, including the cost of claims from businesses and individuals who opted out of the settlement that BP agreed with plaintiffs’ lawyers in 2012. Some who were not covered by that settlement...have also launched legal actions...In addition, a court in Houston is hearing claims from shareholders...Probably the largest remaining unknown item is the cost of compensation payments for businesses covered by the 2012 settlement...Even here, though, the end is in sight: the deadline for submitting claims for business losses under the settlement was June 8. So BP’s potential maximum liability should be becoming clearer. [Also refers to ExxonMobil]