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Supreme Court Rejects BP Gulf Oil Spill Challenge

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected BP's challenge to a settlement agreement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which the oil giant said allowed certain businesses to get payouts despite being unable to trace their losses to the disaster.

The court's refusal to hear BP's appeal means the London-based company will have to make the payments as it continues to deal with the aftermath of the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and rupture of BP's Macondo oil well. BP signed a settlement agreement in 2012 to compensate spill claimants, but has since argued that the agreement has been interpreted improperly, forcing it to pay businesses that could not show damages. The court's unsigned order is the latest setback to BP, which is trying to limit payments over the disaster, which killed 11 people and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill. So far, BP has paid $2.3 billion in so-called business economic loss claims out of $4.25 billion in total compensation to individuals and businesses, according to statistics maintained by Patrick Juneau, the administrator appointed by the courts to handle claims. BP has estimated it will pay $9.7 billion to plaintiffs represented by the so-called plaintiffs' steering committee, but said last month that this sum could grow significantly.

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-- Reuters