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The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case for BP and Anadarko, upholding lower court’s liability decision

Appeals by BP (ticker: BP) and Anadarko Petroleum (ticker: APC) will not be heard by the Supreme Court, meaning the decision to hold the two companies liable for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 will stand, reports Bloomberg.

During the appeals court process, BP argued it was not liable because the spill entered Gulf waters through equipment owned by its drilling contractor, a unit of Transocean Ltd. (ticker: RIG). U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans ruled that the oil leaked from the well, making the co-owners – BP and Anadarko – liable for the pollution fine.

Under the Clean Water Act, the companies can be fined as much as $1,100 per barrel spilled on a finding of strict liability, and as much as $4,300 per barrel if the company is also accused of gross negligence, which was the case. Because BP was found to be grossly negligent, the company could be fined up to $13.7 billion for the 3.19 million barrels oil that were spilled. Anadarko will face over $1 billion in fines.


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