BP logo is seen at a fuel station
Decision could help BP limit its payout to victims of Deepwater Horizon disaster (Reuters)

A US federal court of appeals has allowed oil giant BP to appeal the damage claims, which the company finds as unjust, in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Reuters reported that the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said BP has the right to appellate review of some damage claims awarded to people and businesses.

The decision could help BP limit its payout to victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

BP argued that rules adopted by US District Judge Carl Barbier compromised its right to appeal awards he approved and which the company did not like to the 5th Circuit.

"Where a settlement agreement does not resolve claims itself but instead establishes a mechanism pursuant to which the district court will resolve claims, parties must expressly waive what is otherwise a right to appeal from claim determination decisions by a district court," Judge Fortunato Benavides wrote, accepting BP's plea.

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the BP-owned Macondo Prospect, which spilled oil into the surrounding Gulf of Mexico waters over a three-month period. Eleven workers on the rig died in the explosion and swathes of marine life were poisoned.

BP has been hit by a number of pieces of civil and criminal litigation from people and businesses affected by the spill. Two phases of the trial over BP's negligence and the amount of oil spill have been completed.

At the end of 2014, the company booked charges totalling $43.5bn (£28.2bn, €38.7bn) in connection with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. An additional charge of $477m was taken in the fourth quarter of 2014 reflecting increased provision for litigation costs, additional business economic loss claims and other costs.

Patrick Juneau, the administrator managing a fund to compensate people and businesses claiming to have suffered economic losses from the oil spill, earlier said that more than $5bn has been paid out from the fund.

BP currently estimates payment of a total of $10.3bn to resolve claims under a 2012 settlement.