BP Agrees to $4.5 Billion Settlement of Criminal Charges in Gulf Spill.
- In a plea agreement with the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, British oil giant BP will pay $4 billion in penalties, including $1.256 billion in criminal fines, over five years, plus $525 million in claims to the SEC over three years, the company announced on Thursday.
- As part of the agreement, BP will plead guilty to 11 felony counts related to the deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon that exploded while a BP well was being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The company also will plead guilty to a felony charge of obstruction of Congress, a misdemeanor charge of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act.
- The bulk of the penalties—$2.4 billion—will go to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation for restoration work in the Gulf of Mexico. Another $350 will go to the National Academy of Sciences for research on the effects of the spill, which dumped nearly 5 billion barrels of oil into the Gulf over 87 days.
- The settlement, if accepted by a federal judge, does not end the litigation over the Gulf spill. BP and its partners in the deepwater drilling accident still face civil charges by the Justice Department.