BP Finalizes Settlement Deal for Gulf Oil Spill

Posted April 18th, 2012 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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Oil giant BP says it has finalized a multi-billion dollar agreement with fishermen and other private plaintiffs who sued over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The London-based company released a statement Wednesday saying it still estimates the cost of the settlement will be around $7.8 billion. The money will come out of a $20 billion compensation fund the company previously established.

BP says the deal will resolve a “substantial majority of eligible private economic loss and medical claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill.” BP said both sides believe the agreements are “a fair, reasonable and adequate resolution of the claims.” The settlement must still be approved by a judge.

This Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana. The explosion killed 11 workers and sent hundreds of millions of liters of oil spewing across the multi-state Gulf region, killing wildlife and destroying livelihoods.

Separate claims by the federal government and Gulf states against BP and its partners are still unresoved.

The U.S. government is pursuing a case focusing on liability for the explosion. Last September, a team of Coast Guard officials and federal regulators issued a report that concluded BP bears ultimate responsibility for the spill.

The report said BP violated federal regulations, ignored crucial warnings and made bad decisions when trying to cement the leaking well about 1.5 kilometers beneath the Gulf of Mexico.