BP to cut hundreds of UK and US jobs as oil prices plunge
BP settlement payout tops $5bnReuters

Patrick Juneau, the administrator managing a fund to compensate people and businesses claiming to have suffered economic losses from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has said that more than $5bn (£3.4bn, €4.7bn) has been paid out from the fund.

As of now, a total of $5.037bn has been paid to 62,162 claimants, Juneau said in a news release. The announcement comes five days ahead of the Deepwater Horizon disaster's fifth anniversary.

The fund was set up under a 2012 settlement, and Juneau was appointed to manage it.

However, BP later accused Juneau of improperly awarding payouts, including to those who did not suffer any harm in the disaster. It also filed a court compliant to remove him, but the court decided to keep him in the post.

The oil giant later changed its stance after conducting a review of payout procedures, and withdrew its appeal against the court's decision. It said its review found improvements in the procedure, including the addition of "scores" of fraud investigators.

"We appreciate the work that has been done to develop and implement improved processes to, among other things, detect and prevent the payment of fraudulent claims. We share with Mr Juneau and the claims facility the goal of compensating the people and businesses of the Gulf under the terms of the settlement agreement," BP America President John Mingé said earlier.

The total costs for BP in compensation to businesses and individuals are now estimated at more than $9.9bn, compared to the original estimate of $7.8bn.

US District Judge Carl Barbier had earlier reduced the company's spillage liability to three million barrels, 24% less than the claims by federal prosecutors, cutting the expected civil penalty by $4bn.

The company will have to pay $13.7bn or $4,300 per barrel of spilled oil in civil fines.