BP Plc (BP) wants to significantly limit future claims related to its Deepwater Horizon disaster as the region's economy recovers, the oil company said in a document made public on Friday and reported by Reuters.
The Gulf economy is strong and "there is no basis to assume that claimants, with very limited exceptions, will incur a future loss related to the oil spill," BP said in its report filed with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).
Kenneth Feinberg is the administrator of the $20 billion GCCF fund established at the urging of President Barack Obama to compensate people and businesses for losses related to the BP disaster.
BP's deepwater Macondo well ruptured in April 2010, causing a fiery explosion that killed 11 rig workers and spewed more than 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. The accident closed waters to fishing, disrupted tourism and caused the government to shut down deepwater exploration for months. But now, Gulf residents are getting back to work and industries are on the rebound, BP said, citing lodging, fishing and other data.
"The GCCF welcomes any and all input from any interested sources including BP," Feinberg said in an email to the media. "We take all of the submissions 'under advisement.'"
BP supports the payment of legitimate claims and future losses that are substantiated, but the company objects to the GCCF's "practice of assuming future losses on certain claims," the company said in an email to Reuters.
At the beginning of July, the GCCF had paid $4.5 billion in claims to 195,000 claimants. There are also about $430 million worth of offers that are under consideration by Gulf residents according to Reuters.
After Reuters reported on BP’s report to the GCCF, Tom Mueller, a spokesman for BP, issued the following statement:
"As it has from the outset, BP supports the payment of legitimate claims, and to the extent that a claimant can substantiate future losses, a final offer covering past and future losses and a release of claims are appropriate. Of course, interim payments continue to be an option if a claimant expects to continue to incur losses and is unwilling or unprepared to enter into a final settlement. Given the strong evidence of recovery, what we are objecting to is GCCF's practice of assuming future losses on certain claims."