BP may owe for spilled oil

By Steve Hargreaves, Senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- BP will have to pay the U.S. government royalties on oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico if it is found that "negligence or regulatory violations" contributed to the accident, according to a government statement Thursday.

U.S. regulators are investigating what caused the April accident, but the findings aren't expected for several months.

All oil companies pay royalties on oil produced from wells on government land or water.

BP is currently paying royalties on the oil that it is collecting and selling from its damaged well. BP is donating proceeds from those sales to a wildlife fund.

Based on the oil BP has collected as of last week, current oil prices, and the 18.75% royalty rate on the well, BP has paid about $8 million to the government.

But the well is estimated to be leaking up to 60,000 barrels a day. If the company was charged for that full amount, it would owe another $65 million.

BP has set up a payment plan with the government where it has promised at least $20 billion to pay for damages caused by the spill.

BP officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,683.58 -46.53 -0.26%
Nasdaq 4,991.94 -17.27 -0.34%
S&P 500 2,068.76 -8.02 -0.39%
Treasuries 2.28 -0.11 -4.81%
Data as of 5:57am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.94 -0.28 -1.63%
Micron Technology In... 18.32 -0.46 -2.45%
Frontier Communicati... 4.92 -0.03 -0.61%
Intel Corp 30.04 -0.14 -0.46%
Apple Inc 126.00 -0.60 -0.47%
Data as of Jul 6
Sponsors

Sections

America's biggest coffee chain is getting more expensive on Tuesday after another round of price changes. More

Greece voted by a big margin against Europe's latest bailout offer on Sunday, bringing the country closer to an economic disaster that could lead to its exit from the eurozone. More

Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is joining the board at SurveyMonkey, her late husband's online survey and polling company. More

Entrepreneur Guillaume Gauthereau is on a mission to build a 50 to a 100 acre sanctuary in New York to provide refuge to honey bees. More

Building a strong credit score at a young age can save a lot of money down the road. Here's how to do it. More