BP settles 2010 U.S. oil spill claims for $18.7 billion

July 2, 2015

BP Oil has reached a comprehensive $18.7 billion settlement with the U.S. government and five states, a landmark deal that effectively ends years of litigation over environmental damage and human casualties caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

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It could be the largest settlement with a single entity in U.S. history, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The April 20, 2010, rig explosion killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil for nearly three months onto the shorelines of several states.

The size of the settlement was slightly more than the $17.6 billion that investors had feared BP would be fined under the Clean Water Act for gross negligence.

The maximum possible Clean Water Act fine was later trimmed to $13.7 billion after U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier found 3.19 million barrels spilled, less than the U.S. government claimed.

“This agreement will not only restore the damage inflicted on our coastal resources by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it will also allow Louisiana to continue aggressively fighting coastal erosion,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

 

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