(MENAFN - Arab News) British oil company BP Plc pleaded guilty yesterday to criminal charges relating to its 2010 oil spill and agreed to pay an extra 4.5 billion on top of the tens of billions it is already paying out.
BP said it would plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect relating to the death of 11 workers, one misdemeanor count under the Clean Water Act, one misdemeanor count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and one felony count of obstruction of Congress.
The company's reputation was ravaged two and a half years ago after an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.
The blast on April 20, 2010, sank the rig and unleashed the biggest marine oil spill in the industry's history - and what has widely acknowledged to be the worst US environmental disaster ever.
Earlier this year, BP reached an agreement to settle claims from fishermen and others affected by the disaster for 7.8 billion, but it must be approved by a federal judge and does not affect claims brought by the government.
Over the past two years, BP has so far sold noncore assets totalling more than 35 billion to help fund massive compensation costs arising from the tragedy.