Has BP Found a Life Raft?

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Ahead of the company’s civil trial, scheduled to begin on February 25 in New Orleans, BP (NYSE:BP) may have found a life raft; the United States Justice Department has agreed that the oil BP recovered from the 2010 spill should be excluded from the penalties that will surely be levied after the impending trial.

BP stands to save as much as $3.5 billion if the reduced figure is used to calculate its fines.

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April 20, 2010 was the day on which Transocean’s (NYSE:RIG) Deepwater Horizon rig, under contract with BP, experienced a surge of gas that killed 11 workers and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean over a period of 87 days. However, BP has claimed that the total estimate made by the U.S. government was too high by 20 percent, and that it had recovered approximately 810,000 barrels of oil from the leaking well…

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