BP Made $3 Million An Hour In 2011, While Spill Victims Continue To Suffer


Written by Rebecca Leber, ClimateProgress

BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill is still affecting the lives of many Americans, particularly the tens of thousands that have not settled lawsuits with the company. Yet the company has bounced back from the billions it lost in the wake of the spill.

BP announced today that its 2011 profit totaled $26 billion, a 114 percent jump from the year before, when the company’s “failure of supervision and accountability” caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history. As the company prepares for its upcoming criminal trial, let’s take a look at how BP has made out after the Deepwater Horizon disaster:

  • BP earned $3 million every hour in 2011. Its fourth-quarter profits reached $7.69 billion, which is up 38 percent from 2010.
  • The company is sitting on another $14 billion in cash.
  • The company continues to scale back its production in the wake of the spill, producing 10 percent less than 2010 levels.
  • BP contributions to federal candidates totaled more than $98,000 in 2011, with more than half (65 percent) to Republican candidates.
  • BP spent $8 million lobbying Congress in 2011, down from the record $15 million the company lobbied in 2009 – one year before the oil disaster.
  • For every dollar the big five oil companies use in lobbying, they effectively receive $30 in subsidies. This could mean BP potentially gained up to $243 million in subsidies, although the exact amount for an individual company is undisclosed.
  • In the third quarter, BP’s Bob Dudley announced the company had reached a “definite turning point” of boosted profits. However, nearly two years following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP has still only paid $7.8 billion of the $20 billion fund they created to compensate individuals and businesses for losses incurred by the spill.
  • In order to pay the $40 billion cleanup costs and additional penalties, the company has committed to selling $38 billion worth of assets before 2014.

Despite being found “ultimately responsible” for the most devastating oil spill this nation has ever seen, BP has spent millions lobbying on bills that would speed offshore drilling and leases. This includes filing a total 24 reports on bills undermining safety regulation in the Gulf of Mexico, H.R. 1231 “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act” and H.R. 1229 “Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act.”

At the time, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar accused House Republicans of having “amnesia” about the oil spill. No doubt the total $137 billion profits in 2011 for the five big oil companies had something to do with it.

This post was originally published by ClimateProgress, a branch of ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

Secret Oil Spill Has Been Poisoning The Gulf For 7 Years

Top 10 Endangered Places In The Southeastern US

Gulf Coast Residents Still Sick From BP Oil Spill


Photo from l.schonk via flickr


Terry V.
Terry V.4 years ago


federico bortoletto

E' la solita storia quando c'è di mezzo affari e politica. Uno vero SCHIFO!!!!

glenda b.
glenda b.4 years ago

What really makes me mad is that our politicians are bought and paid for.....Why, I don't understand is this being allowed....Is this fair and is this right?....

Marieanne Phillips

More proof that Large Companies don't give a rats about the environment and the living creatures as long as they make their profits (Large).

Ernest R.
Ernest R.4 years ago

@ Vicky P..Chris’s comment was not racist but observational. Most damage has been done by white men because they had the opportunity as the dominant racial group. Soon it will be the Chinese replacing them. Don’t expect an improvement. The main problem is overpopulation which has been empowered by oil in the last two centuries. When the oil runs out, as it will, that will be the end of the civilization that has mindlessly continued progress toward its own destruction. The masses will have no income, no energy source, no food or water on a destroyed planet. Tighten seat belts.

Terri Hughes
Terri Hughes4 years ago

These big oil companies DON'T care who or what they hurt. They are destroying the earth, killing animals, both on land and in the water and people are getting sick. But they DO NOT CARE, as long as they get rich. ''GREEDY ASS WIPES''.

Gianna Macias
Gianna Macias4 years ago

Why BP is not paying for the treatment of wild life, the cleaning of the zone and compensation to ALL PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN DAMAGED BY THE SPILL.

Colum N.
Colum N.4 years ago

BP should be shut down entirely as an entity.
They are destroying the natural world at an alarming rate.
Whoever is being paid off in government should be identified and made to answer for their role in BP's protection and removed from any position of power.

bharathi A.
bharathi A.4 years ago


Roger S.
Roger S.4 years ago

Don't forget to boycott Shell as well - they're just as bad as BP. Unfortunately their pollution of the Niger Delta barely made the news because it was only a developing country full of poor black people who were affected. I guess most people don't think that really matters as long as gas stays cheap for their 15mpg trucks.