BP waves the white flag, asks for help from the Prime Minister

A potentially huge fine looms as the BP oil-spill trial enters its criminal phase.

BP wants some help. They're asking the British prime minister to help them stem the rising cost of compensation from the Gulf Oil spill.

What's their beef?

They claim they're being ripped off by an army of lawyers down there in the South.

Claims being made are inflated, BP says and "totally undeserved," even coming from companies that weren't affected at all.

The problem lies in the proof. Businesses only have to show that they made less profit than usual, or less after the spill. 

Malcolm Bracken, oil analyst from Redmayne Bentley, says that move proved BP has been rather dumb.

"The problem is they've written a blank check to Louisiana and not asked them to prove causality," Bracken says.

BP said they were just trying to make it for easier for claimants, but now they're in over their heads. The company has launched an appeal and if that fails, they want the prime minister to intervene with the White House.

BP is getting hammered because it's a foreign company, even though there are certainly more American employees these days.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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