Settlement talks are at a standstill between the U.S. government and BP PLC (NYSE: BP) related to the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster that killed 11 workers and dumped 5 million barrels of crude oil into the ocean. The oil company is reportedly resisting a U.S. demand of at least $18 billion to settle all claims.
The Sunday Times reports that the company wants to resolve the issue before U.S. elections in November. The U.S. demand has divided BP's directors, some of whom want to settle the case and others who do not.
Those in favor of settlement want to put the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon behind the company and get rid of the overhang. Those who are resisting a settlement fear that giving in to the government will spark a number of shareholder lawsuits.
Shares of BP closed at $42.36 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $33.62 to $48.34. Shares traded at around $60 preceding the Gulf explosion.
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