BP, EPA make amends over U.S. oil contracts

March 14, 2014 at 7:51 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency said it reached a "fair agreement" that would let BP do business again with the U.S. federal government.

BP was barred from bidding on leases on federal land after it pleaded guilty to environmental crimes stemming from the April 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Craig Hooks, an EPA administrator for resource management, said BP agreed to the provisions necessary to return to government business.

"This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we've outlined together," he said in a statement Thursday.

An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which BP leased from Transocean, killed 11 workers and caused approximately 2.5 million barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

The EPA said BP is required to conduct annual reviews of its safety record using an independent auditor approved by the EPA.

John Minge, chairman and president of BP America, said in a separate statement his company was "pleased to have reached this resolution."

BP says it's the largest investor in the U.S. energy sector.

Under the terms of the ban, BP wasn't prohibited from working on existing contracts in the Gulf of Mexico.

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