BP Still Paying For Deepwater Horizon Blowout

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
It does not necessarily reflect the views of Rigzone.

A little over three years ago – April 20, 2010, to be exact – a drilling rig named the Deepwater Horizon was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico when an explosion occurred and created one of the largest oil spills in history. The accident killed 11 people, and the drilling rig sank two days later on April 22. The well oozed crude oil and natural gas until for several months. On July 15, the well was temporarily plugged and completely plugged on September 19.

The blowout of the Deepwater Horizon was a great tragedy in many ways. But what has happened to BP, the company that was the operator of the well, is a tragedy, too.

For example, the Gulf Settlement Program, which was created to make monetary awards to people who had been harmed by the accident, has awarded millions of dollars to people under very questionable circumstances, according to legal papers filed by BP. 

In November, BP filed papers with the District Court Supervised Settlement Program stating that there are claims for losses that “are either non-existent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident.”

BP stated that the Gulf Settlement Program “has handed out more than $540 million to more than 1,196 claimants located more than 100 miles from the Gulf, and who work in industries unlikely to have been impacted by the spill, including agriculture, construction, legal services and even nursing homes.”

BP recently noted in an ad in The Wall Street Journal that the Gulf Settlement Program has awarded $173,000 to an adult escort service in support of its claim of lost income because of the blowout. The ad stated that “an adult escort service submitted tax returns from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 to support their claims of lost income. All of the tax returns were dated 2012 and were unsigned.”

The ad noted that the IRS does not accept unsigned tax returns.


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Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
A Duncan | Dec. 16, 2013
Mr Mills is correct to draw attention to this matter. I think most of us accept that people and businesses genuinely disadvantaged by industrial accidents are deserving of proportionate compensation. But some of the claims made, and approved, against BP are disgusting in that they appear to come from claimants unaffected by the Macondo spill. Those claimants, and litigators acting on their behalf, must in any right-minded society be considered morally bankrupt? In my view, claiming to have been affected by an incident like this if one has not been is disgusting - it shows a total disrespect for those killed in the Macondo incident and their families.

Kim Lirette | Dec. 13, 2013
After three and a half years gone by well BP need to come back and repay. All the one that got screw by there liar Kenneth Feinberg with their QUICK PAY scheme!!!! Because shrimping is at its worst every seen in history .Aleast paid the one that got trip ticket and didnt lie about their catches Because they sure did screw us good with their lie its gone get better in two years !!!!!!

Tom Young | Dec. 13, 2013
BP negotiated, wrote, and tested the formulas meant to determine whether a business experienced an economic loss as a result of the spill. Now BP regrets the outputs those formulas produce. There should be no love lost for a company that employed 1,000 lawyers, MBAs, CPAs, PhDs, etc to develop said formulas. The business owners of the Gulf were asked to rely upon the formulas and they did. It is too late for do overs. Simply put, the company vastly underestimated the economic damage the Deepwater Horizon incident inflicted on the Gulf. Compared to Exxon Valdez, which occurred in the wilderness of Prince William Sound, the Gulf coast economy impacts tens of millions of people and businesses. BP enjoys a free pass on many claims.

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