BP’s Big Bet For Oil Spill Trial

After spending almost $30 billion on cleaning cost and settlement with local businesses and individuals in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is making a big bet on the outcome of a trial next week to reduce further financial liabilities. The company has already wrapped up many big parts of its legal battle with authorities and individuals but two last pieces are still on the table: The next week trial tries to determine if BP has been grossly negligent in the incident: If outcome is yes, then the company has to pay up to $4300 per barrel of spilled oil in penalties under Clean Water Act.

The second piece, is a last trial which will be held later this year and will try to identify how many barrels of oil leaked to the water. If BP wins: It has to pay less than $5 billion; if it loses, the costs may go above $22 billion. Given the wide spread between these two extremes, BP is going ahead in the hope of achieving the lowest penalty possible.

Given the fact that BP has lost its last trial when it sued its partners Transocean and Halliburton for covering some of the costs associated with oil spill cleanup, the company seems to optimistic! Don’t you think so?