British Petroleum has agreed to pay $4.5 bn in settlement to resolve the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but it still faces civil claims from the American government. The company has admitted its guilt on 14 criminal charges, 11 of which were related to manslaughter.
The $4 bn settlement includes a fine of $1.256bn, the largest penalty ever imposed by US THE authorities. BP is also paying a further $525m for civil fraud charges brought by the SEC, the financial regulator.
Bob Dudley, its CEO has apologized on behalf of the co. and has also accepted responsibility for its actions. The settlement is a step forward as it tries to resolve its liabilities over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The payments raise BP's estimated damages cost to $42 bn.
However, it still faces actions for civil penalties and damages from federal, state and local authorities in a case scheduled to go to trial next February. If found grossly negligent, its penalties under the Clean Water Act alone could touch $20 bn.