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BP seeks to block Gulf spill settlement payments

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NEW ORLEANS » BP has asked a federal judge to block a court-appointed administrator from paying Gulf Coast businesses’ claims through a multibillion-dollar settlement over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a court filing today in New Orleans, the London-based oil giant argues that program administrator Patrick Juneau’s method of processing and paying businesses’ claims violates the settlement’s terms.

Last week, BP warned investors that the settlement’s price tag will be “significantly higher” than it initially estimated because businesses’ claims have been paid at much higher average amounts than the company anticipated.

BP also said it can’t reliably estimate how much it will pay for unresolved business claims following a recent ruling by U.S District Judge Carl Barbier, who rejected BP’s interpretation of certain settlement provisions.

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