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U.K. criticizes heavy fines on BP

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

BP is fighting what looks to be a losing battle in the U.S. judicial system over the Deepwater Horizon spill of 2010, but the company now has the support of the government in the United Kingdom where BP is based. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier named BP grossly negligent last week for the events of the disaster, which could mean that BP could be paying another $18 billion in fines. Will Kennedy for Bloomberg reports:

The U.K. told U.S. Supreme Court judges in a filing that decisions to authorize payments to people who were not injured by the spill raises “grave international comity concerns by undermining confidence in the vigorous and fair resolution of disputes.” The filing shows the government’s interest in the treatment of one of the country’s most prominent companies.

The statement was filed Sept. 4, the same day Barbier made his ruling. However, BP has announced it will appeal the judge’s decision. It is not yet clear how greatly the result will affect the business relationship between the U.S. and U.K., a relationship that generates $200 billion in trade annually. The statement stressed that U.K. businesses are responsible for about 17 percent of foreign direct investment in the U.S. and states that the amount of fines that might be leveled against the oil giant is excessive.

For all the details, see Kennedy’s full report: BP gets support from U.K. government in U.S. lawsuit over spill

Related: BP can absorb new oil spill fine, analysts say

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