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BP to pay record criminal penalties for U.S. oil spill

  • BP is to pay $4.5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which caused the worst U.S. offshore oil spill ever.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder labeled the deal as a "critical step forward" but maintained that it did not mean the end of the criminal investigation of the 2010 spill.

    The settlement was announced on Thursday and includes a $1.256 billion criminal fine, the largest such in U.S. history.

    The government also indicted the two highest-ranking BP supervisors aboard the Deepwater Horizon during the disaster and charged them with 23 criminal counts including manslaughter.

    The April 2010 explosion on the rig in the Gulf of Mexico left 11 workers dead.

    The mile-deep Macondo oil well spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over 87 days, polluting shorelines from Texas to Florida.