BP reiterated on Thursday that any settlements over 2010's Deepwater Horizon oil spill would have to be "fair and reasonable" after news service Bloomberg reported that the UK-based oil major is negotiating with US officials to settle pollution claims over the accident for as much as $17.6 billion in fines.
Speaking to Rigzone a spokesman for BP echoed CEO Bob Dudley's statement on Tuesday, saying: "We're not ruling out settlements but they have to be fair and reasonable. But we are preparing vigorously for the trial which is due to start on February 27."
Last month, the firm dismissed what it described as "speculation" from an analyst at investment bank Morgan Stanley that it would settle the Macondo Case for $25 billion, although it would not comment on whether it was in discussions with the US Department of Justice.
On Tuesday, BP also said it made contributions amounting to $5.3 billion to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust fund during the fourth quarter of 2011, bringing total Trust contributions for the year to $10.1 billion.
The fourth quarter contributions included the $4 billion cash settlement that BP received in October 2011 from Anadarko Petroleum Company to settle claims connected to its role in the spill. Meanwhile, a $250 million payment from Cameron following settlement with BP during 4Q 2011 was paid into the fund last month.
BP said that payments from the Trust during 4Q 2011 were $700 million, bringing Trust disbursements for the year to $3.7 billion. 4Q 2011 disbursements consisted of $526 million paid through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility for individual and business claims, $145 million for natural resource damages assessment costs and $29 million for state and local government claims and other resolved items, added the firm.
As of Dec. 31 2011 the cumulative amount paid from the Trust since its inception was $6.7 billion, while BP's cumulative contributions to the Trust amounted to $15.1 billion.
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