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Environment Oil Giant BP to Plead Guilty on Gulf Spill and Pay Fine

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BRADENTON -- British oil company BP said Thursday that it would pay $4.5 billion in fines and other payments to the United States government and plead guilty to 14 criminal charges related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The $300 billion dollar company, which posted $25.7 billion in profits in 2011, will pay a $4 billion fine over the course of five years, much of which will go to government environmental agencies and $525 million in a settlement with investors it misled over the rate of oil flowing from the damaged well. Meanwhile, two rig workers were indicted on federal manslaughter charges, while a BP executive was indicted on lesser charges.

BP will plead guilty to 11 felony misconduct or neglect charges related to the deaths of 11 people in the horrific deepwater drilling accident, which lead to the release of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf, which is still being discovered in Gulf waters after wreaking havoc on gulfshore states whose tourism and fishing industries were badly hampered by the devastation.

Deepwater Horizon rig workers Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine were indicted on federal charges of manslaughter and involuntary manslaughters. The BP employees were accused of repeatedly disregarding abnormal high-pressure readings that prosecutors said should have been red flags prior to the blowout.

BP's Vice President of Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, David Rainey, was also indicted on charges of obstructing Congress and making false statements. Prosecutors said that Rainery had withheld information from Congress showing that the amount of oil spewing from the blown-out well was greater than he'd suggested.

“Today’s agreement is consistent with BP’s position in the ongoing civil litigation that this was an accident resulting from multiple causes, involving multiple parties, as found by other official investigations,” said BP in a news release.


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