WASHINGTON — BP is filing a strongly worded complaint with the administrator of a $20-billion fund to compensate victims of the Gulf oil spill, saying his proposed settlements are too generous, The New York Times reported Thursday.
In a 25-page statement that is to be filed later in the day with the fund administered by Kenneth Feinberg, the British energy giant insists that the planned payments are based on estimates that overstate the potential for future losses, the Times said.
BP concluded that there is “no credible support for adopting an artificially high future loss factor based purely on the inherent degree of uncertainty in predicting the future and on the mere possibility that future harm might occur,” according to the statement quoted by the newspaper.
Feinberg, who was appointed by BP eight months ago to run the compensation fund, has also come under fire from claimants for what they say is an arbitrary process that underestimates their future losses.
The settlements are based on estimates of the region’s economic and environmental recovery for the worst oil spill in US history.
A massive explosion on April 20, 2010 killed 11 workers and sank the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig, opening a leak that released more than 205 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, fouling US shorelines, closing rich shrimp and fishing grounds, and scaring off tourists.
Most of the region has been reopened to fishing activities, although the spill’s impact continues to effect the Gulf’s environment and economy.
The fund set up by BP to compensate victims has paid out 3.5 billion dollars in emergency payments so far, but Feinberg is to decide on final settlements after the close Thursday of a public comment period on his methodology.
About 100,000 people have filed for final settlements, and another 90,000 for quick settlements that give individuals $5,000 and businesses $25,000 to settle all claims.
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