BP plans to argue that the drop in oil prices means the company should pay a lower fine for the 2010 oil-well explosion that spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
BP faces up to $13.7 billion in federal fines for the disaster, and the oil giant currently finds itself in much less comfortable economic circumstances, according to the Wall Street Journal. The trial over the Clean Water Act violations is set to begin Tuesday in federal court in New Orleans, and crude prices are 40 percent lower than they were in 2010.
BP has already sold "a lot of assets" to cover spill costs, according to the Journal. In addition to dropping prices, BP faces pressure from a big bet in Russia, now considered hostile territory, and increased debt. BP has $53.6 billion in debt, $21 billion more than it did at the time of the Gulf disaster.
Some analysts have speculated the company could become a takeover target after the Deepwater Horizon lawsuit ends.
BP said falling crude prices will force the company to off about 300 workers in Scotland. BP will release its 2014 earnings on Feb. 3.Stock analysts have lowered their 2014 earnings forecasts for the company.