BP has lost an appeal of how much it has to pay in damages caused by its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A split decision by a three-judge panel could restart a payment process that has been on hold while the appeal was pending.
BP argued that it was unfair to make the company pay for damages in claims not directly linked to the spill, but the appeals court backed an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.
He ruled BP has to live up to the settlement process it signed off on two years after its underwater well exploded. Barbier has not yet decided how much money BP will pay in fines under the Clean Water Act. That amount depends on how much spilled, and if negligence was a factor.
Millions of gallons of oil spewed from BP’s blown out well for months before it was capped. The company says it expected to pay about $8 billion in damage claims, but estimates it could now cost much more.