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NH jury: Exxon Mobil owes $236M over gas chemical

Wednesday - 4/10/2013, 2:47am  ET

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2009 file photo, an Exxon tanker truck makes a refueling stop at an Exxon station in Arlington, Va. Exxon Mobil Corp. was found liable Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in a long-running lawsuit over groundwater contamination caused by the gasoline additive MTBE, and the jury ordered the oil giant to pay $236 million to New Hampshire to clean it up. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- An order for Exxon Mobil to pay $236 million in damages for groundwater contamination is by far the largest verdict in New Hampshire history, but an industry analyst says it represents only about two days' worth of profit for the energy company.

Fadel Gheit is managing director of oil and gas research at Oppenheimer & Co. He says Tuesday's verdict won't put a dent in Exxon Mobil's bottom line because the company "will probably make close to a $40 billion profit this year."

Jurors awarded the state all $236 million it was seeking from Exxon Mobil to monitor and remediate groundwater contaminated by a chemical called MTBE, which was added to gasoline to reduce smog.

Exxon Mobil Corp. lawyers say the company used MTBE to meet federal Clean Air Act mandates to reduce air pollution. They say they'll appeal.

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