BP to pay $18.7bn to US over oil spill

Five US states and the federal government will receive $18.7 billion in fines from BP over the damage caused by the great spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

BP agreed on Thursday to pay the fines to settle legal actions brought by the US over the fatal Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

BP will pay Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Texas in addition to $5.5 billion in penalties it agreed to pay to the federal government under the Clean Water Act.

The deal would add at least $10 billion to the $44 billion BP has already incurred in legal and cleanup costs. The payments would be made over 18 years at around $1.1 billion annually.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the payment “would justly and comprehensively address outstanding federal and state claims, including Clean Water Act civil penalties and natural resource damages.’’

If approved by a federal judge, the deal would be what US authorities call the biggest settlement ever with a corporation.

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