Record $4.5B Fine
BP will pay a record $4.5 billion in fines and plead guilty to a dozen felony counts under a deal with the U.S. government to settle criminal charges stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident that killed 11 workers and spilled nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Federal prosecutors also announced new indictments against two BP supervisors for manslaughter and a former BP executive for hiding information from Congress and lying to law-enforcement officials.
The settlement would resolve the British oil company’s criminal liability over the disaster — the worst oil spill in U.S. waters — but still leaves it to face civil charges in a trial that is set to begin early next year.
In addition to pleading guilty to the 11 felony counts of misconduct or negligence tied to the rig workers’ deaths, BP will also plead guilty to one misdemeanor count each under the Clean Water Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act and one felony count of obstruction of Congress for lying about how much oil was leaking out of the ruptured Macondo well.
The financial settlement, which must be approved by a court, is the largest in U.S. history, surpassing the $1.3 billion paid by pharmaceutical company Pfizer for its illegal marketing of Bextra.by