BP $20bn compensation fund likely to be enough

BP’s $20bn (£12.5bn) fund should be enough to cover the billions owed in compensation, according to the lawyer administering the claims.

Kenneth Feinberg, appointed by Obama to head up the compensation fund, said yesterday he had already paid $2bn to 125,000 people but had approved “less than half” of claims made. He said he wanted to see evidence of loss from people claiming damages from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“Based on what I’ve seen so far I’m cautiously optimistic that $20bn is more than enough,” said Feinberg.

But Alabama politicians have accused Feinberg of bias towards BP, and taking too long to process payments. They warned claimants to consult a lawyer before waiving rights.
Government clean-up costs will also be claimed from the fund as well as the lost income of businesses and individuals.

Meanwhile, BP’s early fight to contain the massive oil spill at its ruptured Macondo well may have failed because the oil giant underestimated how much oil was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the White House oil spill commission said yesterday.