British Petroleum (BP) owner of the Deepwater Horizon exploration drill rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April of 2010, has reached agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. BP has pleaded guilty to fourteen felony charges related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice includes eleven charges of manslaughter related to the deaths of workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig, and a felony count of obstruction of justice for lying to U.S. Congress about the amount of oil leaking from the damaged well.
BP is to pay $4.5 billion dollars in fines over the next five years as well as being made to report to an operations monitor for the next four years, and update all its safety equipment and procedures on all its oil rigs. The fine handed to BP is the largest in American history.
Three former BP employees have been charged with separate felony counts. Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza, BP drilling managers overseeing operations on Deepwater Horizon, were charged with 22 counts of negligent manslaughter for the deaths of the 11 rig workers. Former BP vice president in charge of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, David Rainey, was charged with felony obstruction of justice for allegedly lying to Congress and federal law enforcement officials about the amount of oil leaking from the well.
View November 15, 2012 Attorney General Eric Holder speech at the BP Press Conference
View November 15, 2012 Huffington Post article
View November 15, 2012 British Petroleum press release
View November 15, 2012 CBC News article
View November 19, 2012 PlanetArk article