Oil Spill

Judge OKs $4 Billion BP Settlement

Pleads guilty to manslaughter, other charges over Gulf of Mexico oil spill

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A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved an agreement for British oil giant BP PLC to plead guilty to manslaughter and other charges and pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties for the company's role in the 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 200 million gallons of oil spewed in the three months before BP's blown-out Macondo well could be capped. It was one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

BP agreed in November to plead guilty to charges involving the deaths of 11 workers in the drilling rig explosion that started the spill and for lying to Congress about the size of the spill. The company could have withdrawn from the agreement if U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance had rejected it.