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ATP Jumps 30% After Suing U.S. for Offshore-Drilling Halt

ATP Oil & Gas Corp. surged the most in more than three years after the company sued the U.S. government for more than $68 million in damages for suspending offshore drilling following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The government “improperly and illegally” suspended all offshore drilling and “unlawfully delayed” the issuance of permits once the ban was lifted, ATP said in a lawsuit filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington.

“ATP has incurred significant financing costs to obtain working capital to replace revenue ATP lost from delayed production,” according to the Houston-based company’s complaint.

Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

An April 20, 2010, explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by Transocean Ltd., killed 11 workers and prompted the U.S. to halt deep-water drilling for seven months.

ATP rose 30 percent to $5.23 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading, the biggest gain since Nov. 26, 2008. The shares have declined 29 percent this year.

The case is ATP Oil & Gas Corp. v. U.S., 12-00379, U.S. Court of Federal Claims (Washington).

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