ICYMI: Oil Spill Claims Process Nearing An End

After five years, nearly 400,000 claims and more than $9 billion in payment offers, BP’s massive settlement program may be coming to a close within the next five months.

“We will have decided all of our determinations by the end of this year,” Pat Juneau, the court-appointed administrator, told LaPolitics last week.

While the work related to the private claims will likely continue past December, due to appeals and other legal maneuvers, the work of Juneau, a Lafayette attorney, will be concluded by the time New Year’s Day rolls around.

The claims process was established in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill that killed 11 people and littered Gulf of Mexico beaches with balls of tar.

The closing of the curtain couldn’t come sooner for executives at BP, which is experiencing an earnings slip as costs associated with the oil spill continue to weigh on balance sheets, according to reporting from the Associated Press.

The numbers tell that particular story:

— One measure of profit suggests BP’s second quarter standing dipped to $684 million, compared to $720 million during the same quarter of 2016

— BP had to escrow $347 million in the second quarter for the claims process and other expenditures connected to the spill

— That makes for $63.2 billion expended on the disaster thus far and $39.8 billion in net debt for the company, which was higher than expected

"While net debt rose primarily due to Gulf of Mexico payments, we expect this will improve over the second half as these payments decline and divestment proceeds come in towards the end of the year," Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary told the AP.

***This story was originally published two weeks ago for subscribers to LaPolitics Weekly. Wish you would have read it then? Subscribe today!

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