Oil major BP could face a reduced fine over the oil spilled following the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The firm said yesterday the US Department of Justice had backed its claim that oil it recovered after the 2010 incident should be excluded from certain penalties it could face, potentially cutting its final fine by as much as £2.2billion.
The company has repeated its assertion that some 810,000 barrels of oil it recovered directly from the leaking Macondo well should not count when it comes to fines that could be levied under the US Clean Water Act.
BP also repeated its belief that the US government’s estimate that 4.9million barrels were spilled was too high by 20%.
The maximum fine payable under the act is around £2,780 per barrel, so the 810,000 barrels alone could cut the size of the fine by up to £2.2billion.
A trial to determine liability for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is due to start on Monday.