“It’s highly unlikely the claims would be so large that BP would pay any valid claims less than in full. The environmental claims and other claims would all ride through bankruptcy and be paid in the normal course.”
-bankruptcy lawyer Martin Bienenstock of Dewey & LeBoeuf, who advised General Motors Co. and Chrysler Financial Corp. in their bankruptcies.
“BP Plc, whose potential liability for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has lawmakers and analysts raising the specter of bankruptcy, would be unlikely to avoid paying claims by seeking court protection, restructuring experts said.
The spill, the worst in U.S. history, threatens wetlands, wildlife, fishing and tourism in five states. BP has spent more than $1.43 billion to stop the leak and clean it up, and to compensate local businesses and residents since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The U.K. energy company faces more than 200 lawsuits, and the U.S. is assessing the cost of restoring natural resources destroyed or fouled by the spill. BP’s liabilities include $37 billion in cleanup and potential litigation expenses, according to a June 2 Credit Suisse report. While a U.S. bankruptcy may halt many claims, it wouldn’t allow BP to avoid paying for most of the cleanup and damages, said New York bankruptcy lawyer Martin Bienenstock of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.”
Interesting stuff . . .
BP Bankruptcy Would Offer No Protection From Costs
Margaret Cronin Fisk and Linda Sandler
Bloomberg, June 15 2010