BP Expects Gulf Compensation Claims Below $20 Billion

Oil giant BP (BP) believes that compensation claims related to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster will be less than the $20 billion the company set aside to meet the claims, CEO Bob Dudley told analysts.

Dudley said "that given the current estimates of claims, the $20 billion Independent Claims (ICF), that BP established probably exceeds calls," Citigroup analysts wrote in a research note.

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Still, Dudley stuck to his estimate of $32 billion in total costs related to the oil spill, Reuters said.

Citigroup analysts said that, after meeting with Dudley, they were confident BP would reinstate its dividend early in 2011.