16th January 2015
BP shares have gained in early morning trading as a US ruling confirms the oil giant will face a smaller than expected fine for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The company will pay a penalty of $13.7 billion (£9 billion) in civil claims, down from an anticipated £17.6 billion, according to the BBC.
Following the news, shares in the FTSE 100 constituent had risen by more than 2% by 8.25am this morning to 401.15p. Over the past five years, 37% has been wiped off the value of the shares following the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico which was caused by the expolsion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The US government had estimated the spill equated to 4.09 million barrels but the court ruling has reduced the number to 3.2 million and a final figure is expected to be given later in the month.
In his ruling the judge said BP’s response to the explosion had not been grossly negligent but it had been so leading up to the explosion, which killed 11 men who were working aboard. BP is appealing the gross negligence decision.
In a statement BP said: ‘BP believes that considering all the statutory penalty factors together weighs in favour of a penalty at the lower end of the statutory range. BP is continuing to review the court’s decision.’