BP to pay biggest criminal penalty in US history
Deepwater Horizon settlement reached
The BBC today reported that a US court has approved the biggest criminal penalties in US history and ordered UK oil company BP to pay $4bn (£2.5bn) to the US Department of Justice.
As part of the deal the company also agreed to plead guilty to 14 criminal charges relating to the Deepwater Horizon disaster which killed 11 workers and released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Two BP workers have been indicted on manslaughter charges and an ex-manager charged with misleading Congress.
At the hearing BP issued a grovelling apology to all those effected.
Luke Keller, a Vice President of BP America, told the court,
"We - and by that I mean the men and the women of the management of BP, its board of directors, and its many employees - are deeply sorry for the tragic loss of the 11 men who died and the others who were injured that day, Our guilty plea makes clear, BP understands and acknowledges its role in that tragedy, and we apologise"
Other companies involved included Transocean, the owner of the rig and responsible for the safety valve known as the blowout preventer, and Halliburton, who provided cementing services. The BBC reports that BP is yet to reach a settlement with these firms. A civil trial that will determine negligence is due to begin in New Orleans in February.
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