A settlement of $4.5bn has been reached between the US Department of Justice and BP to account for its culpability in the fatal Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
The settlement includes a record criminal fine of $1.26bn as well as various payments to wildlife and science organisations which, it is hoped, will help redress some of the environmental damage done by the disaster. The payments are to be made over five years.
In addition two BP workers have been indicted on manslaughter charges and an ex-manager charged with misleading Congress.
Department of Justice Attorney General Eric Holder said its resolution “stands as a testament to the hard work of countless investigators, attorneys, support staff members, and other personnel”.
The settlement will require BP to set aside an additional $3.85bn on top of the $38.1bn it has been raising to cover its liabilities from the incident. The UK-based oil company is selling assets to achieve this.