BP yesterday reached agreement with the United States government to resolve all federal criminal charges and all claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against the company stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident, oil spill, and response.
As part of the resolution, BP has agreed to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of Misconduct or Neglect of Ships Officers relating to the loss of 11 lives; 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. This resolution is subject to U.S. federal court approval.
Bob Dudley, BP’s Group Chief Executive “We apologize for our role in the accident, and as today’s resolution with the U.S. government further reflects, we have accepted responsibility for our actions.”
Thirteen of the 14 criminal charges pertain to the accident itself and are based on the negligent misinterpretation of the negative pressure test conducted on board the Deepwater Horizon. As part of its resolution of criminal claims with the U.S. government, BP will pay $4 billion, including $1.256 billion in criminal fines, in installments over a period of five years. BP has also agreed to a term of five years’ probation.
Under the resolution with the Department of Justice (DOJ), a total of $2.394 billion will be paid to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) over a period of five years. In addition, $350 million will be paid to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) over a period of five years.
The resolution also provides for the appointment of two monitors, both with terms of four years. A process safety monitor will review, evaluate and provide recommendations for the improvement of BP’s process safety and risk management procedures concerning deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. An ethics monitor will review and provide recommendations for the improvement of BP’s Code of Conduct and its implementation and enforcement.
The aggregate amount of the resolution is approximately $4.5 billion, with payments scheduled over a period of six years.
November 16, 2012