BP chief hails Gulf of Mexico settlement

March 5, 2012 at 9:24 AM
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NEW ORLEANS, March 5 (UPI) -- A proposed $7.8 billion settlement for BP goes a long way toward resolving issues from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a top executive said.

BP announced it reached a $7.8 billion settlement with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, a consortium of individuals and businesses involved in a multi-district suit against the oil company.

BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said the company has worked hard to meet its obligations to the community impacted by the 2010 spill, one of the largest in the history of the oil industry. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers.

"The proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast," he said in a statement.

The settlement would come for a $20 billion trust fund set up by BP. Bloomberg News had reported that BP was likely examining a $14 billion settlement in the case.

The proposal, however, doesn't address claims from the U.S. government that BP violated the Clean Water Act or other related measures.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers last week the government was "prepared to go to trial" in the Deepwater Horizon case.

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