BP faces multi-billion dollar fine over Gulf of Mexico oil spill

BP is facing a multi-billion dollar fine after it was found to be "grossly negligent" over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

A US judge is yet to rule on how much the company will have to pay out. However, BP has said it would appeal the ruling.

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Timeline: Gulf of Mexico oil spill

A Terra satellite captured a wide-view natural-color image of an oil slick off the Louisiana coast, taken on 29 April, 2010. Credit: Reuters

A reminder of the timeline of events in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill:

  • 20 April 2010: Explosion and fire on Deepwater Horizon rig kills 11 workers and injures 17. The rig is owned by Transocean Ltd and licensed to BP.
  • 22 April: Rig capsizes and sinks, leading oil to discharge through the gulf.
  • 30 April: Then BP boss Tony Hayward says company accepts responsibility for the spill and promises to compensate all those affected.
  • 22 June: After receiving criticism for his handling of the crisis - including comment he would like his life back - Hayward hands day-to-day reponsibility for spill operations to Managing Director BOB Dudley - later named as next CEO.
  • 29 September - BP permanently seals the leaking well.

BP claims 3.26 million barrels leaked from the well in total, while the US government puts the spillage at around 4.9 million barrels.

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