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Oil spill lawsuit causes BP shares to drop 2.8 pct.

Oil spill lawsuit: The US government accuses the companies of disregarding federal safety regulations in drilling the well that blew out April 20, triggering a deadly explosion.

By Associated Press / December 16, 2010

In this April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. The Justice Department on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, sued BP and eight other companies in the Gulf oil spill disaster in an effort to recover billions of dollars from the largest offshore spill in US history.

Gerald Herbert/AP/File

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LONDON

Shares in BP PLC are down by 2.8 percent after the U.S. Justice Department announced it was suing the oil company and several other firms involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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BP stock was down 13 pence at 463.45 pence ($7.22) on the London Stock Exchange Thursday morning.

The U.S. government accuses the companies of disregarding federal safety regulations in drilling the well that blew out April 20, triggering a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig and sending millions of gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf.

BP said it would respond to the claims at a later date. It said the lawsuit did not constitute "any finding of liability or any judicial finding that the allegations have merit."

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