According to the settlement, BP will pay 18,7 billion USD in damage compensation over a period of 18 years.
According to the settlement, BP will pay 18,7 billion USD in damage compensation over a period of 18 years. EPA - Bevil Knapp

BP's oil spin fine vs BP's profits

BP has been ordered to pay the largest environmental fine in US history for the 2010 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 people and spewed four million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The $18.7billion final settlement, which will be divided up among the affected southern US states and used for cleanup projects, is a pretty hefty sum of money.

However, compared to the money the company has made in the four years since the spill, the record-breaking fine doesn't look like much:

FactSet

The company made $928.67billion in sales for the financial years 2011-2014, despite the global slump in oil prices. The settlement is just 2 per cent of that and 37 per cent of gross profits. While that might seem like a big chunk, remember that we're talking billions here.

After the US Justice Department announcement, BP shares were up by 4.7 per cent.

Looks to us like they could have asked for more.


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