BP Plc said on Thursday that it will pay up to US$18.7 billion to settle US federal and state claims over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Under a deal with the US Department of Justice and five states, the British energy giant has agreed to pay at least US$12.8 billion for Clean Water Act fines and natural resource damages, plus US$4.9 billion to the states, Reuters reported.
The payouts will be staggered over as many as 18 years, in what marks the largest corporate settlement in US history.
The agreement adds to the US$43.8 billion that BP had previously set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs.
An oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010, the worst offshore oil disaster in US history, killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil onto the shorelines of several states for nearly three months.
The agreement, which still needs to be approved by courts, covers claims by the federal government and the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
“This is a realistic outcome which provides clarity and certainty for all parties,” BP chief executive Bob Dudley was quoted as saying in a statement.
“For BP, this agreement will resolve the largest liabilities remaining from the tragic accident.”
The company said its total pre-tax charge for the spill now stands at US$53.8 billion.
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