BP Civil Settlement Remains Elusive as Trial Nears

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Federal and state officials have indicated they would like to settle civil claims over a massive 2010 oil spill ahead of a trial scheduled to start next week.

The problem is that they haven't been able to agree on the possible terms of a settlement with BP (NYSE: BP  ) . Months of negotiations have failed to resolve lingering differences -- not just with the London-based oil giant, but among themselves.

A meeting convened in Washington late last week ended with no agreement, said a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential.

BP did not attend the meeting. The company faces penalties under the Clean Water Act ranging from $5.4 billion to $21.1 billion. The trial is scheduled to start next Monday.


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