BP has secured a victory in its battle to limit compensation payouts for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after a US court ordered tighter rules on dubious claims.
A federal appeals court said the terms of a compensation agreement struck with BP last year should be reviewed to help stem bogus or inflated claims for damage by businesses. It has now approved an injunction against payments made to businesses that have not suffered actual loss from the spill – a move that could save BP hundreds of millions of dollars.
BP recently said it believed the group had paid out more than a billion dollars (£616m) of phony claims and vowed to stand up for shareholders against a flood of “absurd” compensation payments. It originally put aside 7.8bn US dollars (£4.8bn), but this has already risen to 9.6 bn US dollars (£5.9bn) and BP warned in July that a vast trust fund set up to cover the bill was about to run out, leaving additional costs to come from profits.