In a plea deal arranged with the US Department of Justice, BP has agreed to plead guilty on 11 counts of “misconduct or neglect of ships officers” resulting in a fine of US$ 4.5 billion. The fine is the largest in US legal history, the previous record-holder being Pfizer Inc., which paid US$ 1.3 billion.
The company will pay US$ 4 billion over five years to settle claims made by the Department of Justice and US$ 525 million over three years to settle claims made by the SEC.
Bob Dudley, BP’s CEO made the following statement: “All of us at BP deeply regret the tragic loss of life caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident as well as the impact of the spill on the Gulf coast region. From the outset, we stepped up by responding to the spill, paying legitimate claims and funding restoration efforts in the Gulf. We apologise for our role in the accident, and as today’s resolution with the US government further reflects, we have accepted responsibility for our actions.”
In total, the company has agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of “misconduct or neglect of ships officers”, 1 misdemeanour for violating the Clean Water Act, 1 misdemeanour for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and 1 count of obstruction of Congress.
The company has also been required to undertake 5 years probation as well “take additional actions, enforceable by the court, to further enhance the safety of drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.”
These charges and fines, however, are separate from the federal and private civil claims that the company is also faced with. BP stated that it would “continue to vigorously defend itself against all remaining civil claims and to contest allegations of gross negligence in those cases.”
“BP believes that today’s agreement is consistent with its legal position that it was not grossly negligent. All the pleas related to the accident itself are based on no more than negligent conduct.”
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/drilling-and-production/16112012/bp_set_to_pay_4point5_billion_usd_fine_for_macondo/