Oil and gas super major, BP, has agreed a final settlement with US authorities for the Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon, oil disaster.
The final deal will see BP hand over $20 billion (£13.2 billion), to resolve all remaining claims, clean up costs and fines handed down.
The deal makes it the largest single settlement in US corporate history, with the total bill for the offshore Gulf of Mexico oil disaster standing at US$53.8 billion (GP£35.5 billion).
Presiding over the case, US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch said: “BP is receiving the punishment it deserves, while also providing critical compensation for the injuries it caused to the environment and the economy of the Gulf region,”
“The steep penalty should inspire BP and its peers to take every measure necessary to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.”
During questioning in a press interview, Lynch said the penalty was “not designed to discourage any valid economic activity in the Gulf,”
The Mega Fine
The latest $20 billion fine of a total $53.8 billion, will be split between different US government agencies, and five US states along the Gulf coast.
BP has a maximum of 18 years in which to pay the total amount.
As well as fines, the monies will go toward finding further cleanups and restoration, and economic development programs.
Attorney General Lynch said: “Ecosystems were disrupted. Businesses were shuttered. Countless men and women lost their livelihoods and their sense of security.”
”This agreement will launch one of the largest environmental restoration efforts the world has ever seen,”
The move by US authorities, looks to draw a line under the incident, which for BP couldn’t come soon enough.
In a statement, BP said: This settlement resolves the largest litigation liabilities remaining from the tragic accident, providing BP certainty with respect to its financial obligations and allowing us to focus on safely delivering the energy the wold needs”
On hearing the news, stock markets valued BP shares 3% higher, at $33.45 a share.