BP Agrees to $4.5 Billion Settlement in Gulf Oil Spill

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By CBS 8 News

Oil giant BP says it has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in a wide-ranging settlement with the U.S. government over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said in a statement it agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges including 11 felony counts of misconduct related to the deaths of 11 men in the rig explosion that triggered the oil spill. It also agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of obstruction of Congress.

The settlement total of $4.5 billion over five years includes nearly $1.3 billion in criminal fines - the largest such penalty ever - along with payments to several government agencies.

A BP executive has been indicted on charges that he lied to authorities about his work estimating the rate oil was flowing during the 2010 Gulf oil spill disaster.

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges David Rainey, who was BP's vice president of exploration for the Gulf of Mexico, on charges of obstruction of Congress and false statements. The indictment claims that Rainey lied to federal investigators when they asked him how he calculated a flow rate estimate for BP's blown-out well in the days after the April 2010 disaster. Indictments charging two BP well site leaders with manslaughter were also unsealed Thursday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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