UK officials: BP not seeking gov't help with spill

UK officials say BP not seeking government help to fight claims stemming from 2010 oil spill

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- British government officials said Thursday that BP has not sought Prime Minister David Cameron's help in reducing compensation claims for its role in the disastrous 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.K. media reports claim BP will ask Cameron for help in convincing the U.S. government to intervene. The reports say BP hopes Cameron will raise the issue at a world leaders' summit that Britain will host next month.

British officials said Cameron has so far not been approached on the matter by BP. They also said Cameron did not raise the issue with President Barack Obama during his visit to the United States that ended on Wednesday.

BP is seeking to stop paying millions of dollars in what it calls inflated compensation claims stemming from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company has warned that the excessive claims are jeopardizing its financial prospects.

It has sought an injunction in U.S. courts, arguing that Gulf coast businesses are pursuing multi-million dollar claims for "non-existent, artificially calculated" losses.

The disaster cost 11 lives and caused extensive damage to the fishing and tourism industries in addition to widespread environmental damage. The company earlier agreed to pay billions of dollars in compensation but now seeks to halt what it feels are unjustified claims.

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