Image courtesy of UpstateNYer/Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a challenge brought by BP against the terms of its Deewater Horizon business economic settlement agreement.

The court’s refusal leaves a lower court ruling in place that found BP must honor the initial terms of its agreement.

BP argued the agreement it signed in 2012 has been incorrectly interpreted by the fund’s administrators, resulting in payments to businesses that BP claims did not properly demonstrate damages.

The UK supermajor has paid out about $2.3 billion in business economic claims and could wind up paying as much as $9.2 billion, well over the company’s initial $7.8 billion estimate.

“On behalf of all our stakeholders, we will therefore continue to advocate for the investigation of suspicious or implausible claims and to fight fraud where it is uncovered,” BP said.

Last week, BP released the results of an independent audit that found about 8 percent of Deepwater spill claims had either missing or insufficient documentation.

The spill claims office, headed by attorney Patrick Juneau, said the documentation errors do not necessarily mean claims were fraudulent and that missing documentation was often supplemented by other types of verification.

BP is facing up to $18 billion in fines for the Deepwater accident that left 11 people dead and caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history.


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