BP, company officials charged with manslaughter
The Justice Department announced Thursday that it had charged BP with felony manslaughter for the deaths of 11 people who were killed when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew out, sending nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that federal grand juries had also indicted the two highest- ranking BP supervisors on the Deepwater Horizon rig with 23 counts of criminal wrongdoing, including manslaughter. Holder also announced the indictment of BP’s incident commander with lying to and hiding information from Congress.
Earlier in the day, BP agreed to a criminal plea and will pay $4 billion over five years in a settlement with the Justice Department over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Thursday,
In addition, the London-based oil giant will pay $525 million over three years to settle claims with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
BP said it would increase its existing $38.1 billion charge against earnings for the spill by $3.85 billion.
The criminal settlement does not cover federal civil claims, including Clean Water Act claims, federal and state claims of damages to natural resources or private civil claims. Settling those would probably cost BP billions of dollars more, and the company said it is “prepared to vigorously defend itself against remaining civil claims.”