BP says Deepwater disaster will cost even more

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The post-tax, non-operating $1.7 billion charge BP will take in its fourth quarter results came after claims resolved in recent months were about seven times higher than anticipated, the London-based company said.

Brian Gilvary, BP's chief financial officer, said: "With the claims facility's work very almost done, we now have better visibility into the remaining liability".

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BP said it will continue to vigorously appeal determinations of claims that it believes are non-compensable under the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee settlement agreement. It covers remaining claims for losses in connection with the incident, as well as other claims settled by court. The total cash impact, however, will be spread out over a multi-year period. Earlier in January, the company announced that it is accounting expenses of 1.5 billion United States dollars due to changes in U.S. tax law.

BP paid around $63.4 billion by the end of September to cover clean-up costs and legal fees linked to the largest environmental disaster in USA history where 11 rig workers were killed.

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For the third quarter, BP reported its underlying replacement cost profit, a metric used to reflect net profit, of $1.87 billion.

Cash payments related to the disaster in 2018 are now expected to be around $3bn, compared to the company's previous estimate of just over $2bn.

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In 2012, BP agreed to a $7.8bn medical settlement that would compensate victims up to $60,700 per person and allowed people to file further claims if they developed serious health problems.

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