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    BP Sets Aside Additional Dollars to Settle Texas Refinery Blast Claims

    The company has already paid $1.6 billion to settle cases stemming from the March 2005 accident.

    HOUSTON -- BP raised the amount it set aside to settle claims from its March 2005 Texas City, Texas, refinery explosion to $2.1 billion, Bloomberg News reported.

    To date, the company has paid more than its reserved amount -- $1.6 billion -- to settle more than 2,000 cases, spokeswoman Wendy Silcock told Bloomberg News.

    "A number of claims remain to be resolved," the company stated yesterday in its annual report, according to Bloomberg News.

    The total fund "has gone up over a couple of quarters," Silcock told Bloomberg News. "They've put some additional amounts in there."

    The explosion killed 15 workers. More than 4,000 lawsuits were filed against London-based BP.

    BP pled guilty to one violation of federal air pollution laws, following a U.S. probe of the explosion, and it agreed to pay a $50 million fine and accept three years' probation, along with implementing safety upgrades at the Texas City plant, the report stated.

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