BP (NYSE:BP) will pay a hefty criminal fine in addition to other payments under a plea agreement negotiated with the U.S. Justice Department to settle charges resulting from the 2010 sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, which caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The plea deal was approved on Tuesday by a U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance. In addition to the fines and payments, which total about $4 billion, the British oil giant will has pleaded guilty to 14 criminal charges, including felony manslaughter in connection to the 11 workers who died when the drilling platform exploded, USA TODAY noted.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, BP will pay $1.3 billion in criminal fines, a record against a corporation. It will also pay $2.4 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and $350 million to the National Academy of Sciences.
The company has negotiated a separate settlement with some Gulf Coast residents and businesses who were financially harmed by the spill that could cost it $7.8 billion. But it still faces ongoing civil litigation from the U.S. government and other affected parties. That litigation could end up costing the company tens of billions of dollars, especially if it is found to have been grossly negligent unter the Clean Water Act.
Shares of BP rose fractionally in Wednesday morning trading.