BP LOSES AGAIN
BP Plc must pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damage claims while it seeks U.S. Supreme Court review of disputed payments in its $9.2 billion accord over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a court ruled.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected the U.K.-based energy company's request to maintain a temporary halt on payments to businesses that can't prove they were directly damaged by the spill.
BP settled with most private-party plaintiffs in 2012, initially estimating the cost of the agreement at $7.8 billion. The company contends a flawed interpretation by the claims administrator helped raise the price to $9.2 billion or more.
A trial judge in December suspended payments to all businesses harmed by the spill, even those with losses unquestionably linked to the disaster, while the appeals court weighed BP's concerns.
On May 19, the court refused to reconsider its earlier rejection of BP's complaint that its claims administrator was misinterpreting the accord and approving hundreds of millions of dollars in "fictitious" claims.
"We are disappointed and will seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court of this ruling," Geoff Morrell, a spokesman for the London-based company, said in an e-mail.
Lawyers for spill victims have accused BP of "buyer's remorse" and trying to renege on a settlement that is proving more costly than anticipated.
"We are pleased that the court has refused BP's latest request to further delay claims payments," Steve Herman and Jim Roy, lead attorneys for the spill victims, said in an e-mail.
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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.