Gulf Coast Claims Facility Administrator (GCCF) Kenneth Feinberg urged BP this week to pay more than 1,500 claims from subcontractors affected by last year's five-month-long drilling moratorium.
Speaking to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Feinberg said that thousands of claims filed by subcontractors such as caterers and pipe fitters do not fall under the auspices of the GCCF or the $100 million fund set up to compensate oilrig workers affected by the moratorium.
"I think it is an unfortunate situation," Feinberg is quoted as saying. "I would like to process those claims, but I have no jurisdiction to do so."
Feinberg is administering BP's $20 billion fund set up in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The GCCF addresses claims brought by Gulf Coast fishermen, restaurants, hotels and other industries affected by the oil spill contaminating Gulf seafood and tar balls washing ashore on Gulf Coast beaches right before the busy summer tourist season.
The GCCF is not authorized by BP to pay claims brought by oilrig workers and oil companies that were affected by the five-month-long drilling moratorium imposed by President Barack Obama last year.
In June 2010, Feinberg said that he would pay out claims brought by those affected by the moratorium but was contradicted by BP, which then set up a separate fund to deal with moratorium claims.
Feinberg urged BP to directly pay the claims of ancillary workers and companies that have also been affected by the moratorium but have no way of filing claims.