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BP pleaded guilty on Thursday to 14 felony accounts that arose from the explosion of an oil pipe in 2010, and lead to the subsequent oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
The agreement includes 11 charges of manslaughter for the deaths ofworkers that were on the rig at the time of the explosion, and one account for obstruction of justice for the false statements they gave congress on how much oil spilled from the well after the explosion.
“All of us at BP deeply regret the tragic loss of life caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident as well as the impact of the spill on the Gulf coast region. From the outset, we stepped up by responding to the spill, paying legitimate claims and funding restoration efforts in the Gulf. We apologize for our role in the accident, and as today’s resolution with the U.S. government further reflects, we have accepted responsibility for our actions.” said Bob Dudley, chief executive officer, in a statement posted to the company’s website.
The settlement, which is still subject to approval by a federal judge, includes a payment of $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 SEC accused BP of misleading investors by not giving the actual amount of crude spewing from the well.
The settlement and indictments come two and a half years after the explosion, which created the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The settlement also includes $1.3 billion dollar in fines, which is the biggest criminal penalty in U.S. history.
“This marks the largest single criminal fine and the largest total criminal resolution in the history of the United States,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference in New Orleans. A majority of the money will be used to restore the Gulf.