BP withholding gulf funds?

May 12, 2011 at 9:39 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- British energy company BP said some of the claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last year are without merit.

Businesses and individuals peppered along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico have joined civil suits claiming last year's oil spill caused significant financial damage. The U.S. government has filed its own suit while the Justice Department is busy with a criminal probe over the disaster.

Lawyers for the energy company said their liability is "limited to damages directly caused by a covered oil spill and that indirect or derivative losses are not compensable," London newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports.

BP in June agreed to hand over $20 billion to compensate those with verifiable losses from the spill. A $100 million Rig Worker Assistance Fund was set up to help oil workers hurt by a temporary ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, though administrators say there is still $88 million left in the fund, the Telegraph adds.

A problem at a well deep in the Gulf of Mexico triggered a gas explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering one of the worst oil spills in the history of the industry.

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