U.S. President Barack Obama picks up balls of tar while touring the beach May 28, 2010 in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster now officially ranks as the worst in U.S. history. (Win McNamee, Getty Images).
By Pete Yost,
BP said this week it will pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government over the massive 2010 oil spill and will plead guilty to felony counts related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress.
The figure includes nearly $1.3 billion in criminal fines – the largest such penalty ever – along with payments to several government entities.
A person close to the incident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said two BP employees will also face manslaughter charges over the deaths of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig that triggered the massive spill.
Carl-Henric Svanberg, BP’s Chairman said, “It removes two significant legal risks and allows us to vigorously defend the company against the remaining civil claims.”
The settlement includes payments of nearly $2.4 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences and about $500 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The obstruction charge is for lying to Congress about how much oil was pouring out of the ruptured well.
BP made a profit of $5.5 billion in the third quarter.