BP faces temporary ban over new U.S. contracts

  • BP has been temporarily suspended from being awarded new contracts with the U.S. government, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Wednesday.

    The EPA said it made the decision due to BP's "lack of business integrity" and comes on the back of the firm’s record $4.5 billion fine earlier this month over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    BP in defence said it had spent $14 billion on its response to the spill.

    "The BP suspension will temporarily prevent the company and the named affiliates from getting new federal government contracts, grants or other covered transactions until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards," the EPA said in a statement.

    "Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."

    The temporary ban will not affect existing deals that BP has with the government. It is unclear how long the ban will last.

    The Deepwater Horizon accident, in which an oilrig exploded, caused one of the worst oil spills in history and left 11 people dead.

    BP has pleaded guilty to 14 criminal charges over the incident.