BP close to settlement with US over Macondo oil disaster



LONDON (ShareCast) - BP is one step closer to drawing a line under the Deepwater Horizon incident two years ago and is said to be in 'advanced discussions' with US regulators regarding resolutions of all claims against the oil and gas company.

The incident, known as the Macondo blowout or the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, resulted in the deaths of 11 workers in April 2010 and was classed as the world's largest-ever offshore oil spill for its environmental implications.

BP announced on Thursday that it is talking to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve all US federal government criminal and SEC claims against it.

The resolutions are expected to represent the largest criminal penalty in history, surpassing the $1.3bn fine paid by Pfizer (BSE: PFIZER.BO - news) in 2009 for marketing fraud.

No final agreements have been reached yet and any resolutions would still need to be approved by the US federal court.

However, the company warned: "The proposed resolutions are not expected to cover federal civil claims, including Clean Water Act claims, federal and state Natural Resource Damages claims; private civil claims in MDL 2179 that were not covered by the PSC (SES: DM0.SI - news) settlement, private securities claims pending in MDL 2185 or state economic loss claims."

The company said that there can be no certainty that any resolutions will be entered into.