WASHINGTON, January 30 - RAPSI. A US federal judge on Tuesday approved a settlement for BP to pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties and plead guilty to manslaughter and other charges for its role in the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Eleven workers died when BP’s Macondo oil well blew out, triggering an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, 2010.
More than 200 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico, the largest offshore oil spill in US history, damaging hundreds of miles of shoreline along the Gulf Coast in several states.
Relatives of the workers who died testified in federal court in New Orleans Tuesday before US District Judge Sarah Vance approved the settlement deal.
BP had agreed in November to plead guilty to manslaughter and for lying to Congress about the size of the oil spill.
The federal government can still collect billions more from BP in civil claims and penalties for environmental damage.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be paid $525 million over a period of three years, while the United States National Academy of Sciences and Fish & Wildlife Foundation will receive a total of $2.744 billion over six years. The company will also have to pay $1.256 billion in criminal fines.