$5 billion in BP oil spill settlement payments so far

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The man who oversees settlement payments to people and businesses claiming economic losses as a result of BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill says more than $5 billion has been paid out.

Patrick Juneau announced the milestone in a Wednesday news release, five days ahead of the disaster’s fifth anniversary.

The money is being disbursed under a 2012 settlement. That agreement was hailed by all involved when it was signed. However, BP later said that Juneau had misinterpreted its provisions and was making payments to some entities whose losses weren’t caused by the spill. Courts rejected that argument.

In 2012, BP estimated it would pay roughly $7.8 billion to resolve claims under the settlement. BP later said it couldn’t give a reliable estimate for the deal’s cost.

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