BP Likely to Settle In Deepwater Horizon Case

BP (NYSE:BP) will likely consent to pay $20 billion to $25 billion to the U.S. Justice Department next month to settle all criminal and civil charges surrounding the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the resulting oil spill, said industry analyst Martijn Rats.

Rats, Morgan Stanley’s head of European oil research, said in a research note that he thinks there is a 70-80 percent chance that BP will settle sometime between the company’s full year results on Feb. 7 and the Feb. 27 start of legal proceedings in New Orleans.

The estimated payout in Rats’ note is significantly greater than predicted by other analysts, and nearly twice the amount BP has prepared for.

Here’s how BP shares reacted to the news:

BP plc (NYSE:BP): BP shares recently traded at $44.71, up $0.15, or 0.34%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $33.62 to $49.09. Volume today was 7,425,321 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,791,340 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 6.19, while trailing earnings are $7.22 per share.