Eleven rig workers died when a series of cascading failures at the Deepwater Horizon rig, which BP leased from Transocean, caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. According to U.S. government estimates, about 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled in months following the accident.
BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said during an annual meeting the Gulf of Mexico was a central part of the company's portfolio.
"We remain very committed to BP playing a major part in the future prosperity of the Gulf of Mexico region, where we invest billions, employ about 2,300 people and support tens of thousands more jobs in other businesses," he said Thursday.
Last month, BP won its first bids on acreage in the Gulf of Mexico since the incident. The company was barred from bidding on federal contracts as a result of the 2010 spill, but in March reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to reverse the ban.
"Our explorers are looking forward to returning to the Gulf as we pick up the momentum from 2013 and forge ahead as an even safer, stronger BP in search of the best value opportunities across the world," Dudley said.
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