A BP gas station in Mexico. Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/

Oil giant BP paid the Mexican government $25.5 million earlier this year to absolve the company of any responsibility for polluting Mexican waters after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010, Nathaniel Janowitz of BuzzFeed News reports after a two year investigation.

Why it matters: The payout is relatively small considering BP spent a total of $60 billion in the aftermath of the spill and paid more than $10 billion to United States fishermen and businesses. None of the $25.5 million payment is going to Mexican citizens, Janowitz writes.

The payout was part of a confidential settlement dismissing a lawsuit related to the disaster, where an oil rig exploded and killed more than 11 workers releasing 4 million barrels of oil off the coast of Louisiana and into Mexico's waters.

The details: The Mexican government filed suit against BP, but dropped it five years later for the payout. More than $15 million has already been paid, but the country has never made a public announcement of the settlement or payments.

  • The agreement absolved BP of any responsibility for damages to Mexican waters, Janowitz writes.
  • Mexico said it found no evidence of pollution caused by BP, ignoring research submitted by respected scientists of Mexico that the government spent millions on.
  • The government also handed "numerous lucrative energy contracts" to BP, according to Janowitz, including five oil-drilling sites.

The impact: Janowitz writes of Tonalá, a town along the Gulf Coast where waters have been effected, that its river has been fished by families for generations, but activity has reduced drastically. BP impacted their waters, but fishermen won't see a payment from them. And the company is in Mexico to stay, with thousands of BP gas stations on the way and already $200 million invested in oil blocks.

Go deeper

BodyArmor takes aim at Gatorade's sports drink dominance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

BodyArmor is making noise in the sports drink market, announcing seven new athlete partnerships last week, including Christian McCaffrey, Sabrina Ionescu and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Why it matters: It wants to market itself as a worthy challenger to the throne that Gatorade has occupied for nearly six decades.

S&P 500's historic rebound leaves investors divided on future

Data: Money.net; Chart: Axios Visuals

The S&P 500 nearly closed at an all-time high on Wednesday and remains poised to go from peak to trough to peak in less than half a year.

By the numbers: Since hitting its low on March 23, the S&P has risen about 50%, with more than 40 of its members doubling, according to Bloomberg. The $12 trillion dollars of share value that vanished in late March has almost completely returned.

Newsrooms abandoned as pandemic drags on

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facing enormous financial pressure and uncertainty around reopenings, media companies are giving up on their years-long building leases for more permanent work-from-home structures. Others are letting employees work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: Real estate is often the most expensive asset that media companies own. And for companies that don't own their space, it's often the biggest expense.