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Oil Spill Compensation Payouts Reach $68.7 M, Court Documents Say

Residents and businesses in the Gulf Coast affected by the April 2010 BP oil spill disaster have received approximately $68.7 M until now under a deal with British oil giant BP plc, court documents say.

Almost 65000 claims were submitted by shrimpers, fishermen, property owners and many others to the court-overseen Deepwater Horizon claims center over the losses caused by the worst U.S. marine oil spill disaster. Out of these, 1784 claims have been paid by the facility. The initial payments were issued on 31st July.

The spill was triggered by the blowout of a BP-operated oil well. The rig was destroyed in the blowout, 11 workers were killed, and around 5 M barrels of crude was spewed into the Gulf.

The status updated was filed by Lynn Greer, the court-appointed transition coordinator of the Deepwater Horizon center, on Friday with United States District Court Judge Carl J Barbier, who oversees the massive litigation linked to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP plc and the steering committee of private oil spill plaintiffs’ lawyers negotiated a settlement in last March. Barbier gave preliminary approval to that deal that will be considered for final approval by the Judge later. The deal is awaiting a court hearing before Barbier next month.

The UK-based oil major estimates it will have to pay around $7.8 bn in that deal, though the agreement is not capped.

The proposed deal doesn’t cover injury claims or wrongful death directly linked to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig blast, criminal or civil claims by the state or federal governments, or the claims that involve other corporations worked on the doomed Macondo well.

Most of the payments under the proposed deal have gone so far to the claimants, who took part in BP plc’s “Vessels of Opportunity” (VoO) program, local crews and fishing vessels that helped in oil spill cleanup and whose boats and properties were damaged during the work or who didn’t receive full payment from BP plc for the work done by them.

Totally 5941 claims linked to the VoO program were submitted with the Deepwater Horizon center. Out of these, 4156 were offered payments worth $176.6 M. As of October 3, a total of $50.7 M was paid to 1210 claimants.

A total of 19,338 individual financial loss claims were submitted with the center. 79 of them have got payment offers worth $850968. 6 Payments have been made so far.

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