US judge approves BP civil settlement with US government over 2010 spill

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Judge approves $20B BP oil spill settlement

HOUSTON, April 4 (Reuters) - U.S. Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval on Monday to BP Plc's civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after it reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states.

The company at the time said its total pre-tax charges from the spill set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs were around $53.8 billion.

Photos of the spill:

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US judge approves BP civil settlement with US government over 2010 spill
FILE - In this June 15, 2010 file photo, a member of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff wearing a glove reaches into thick oil on the surface of the northern regions of Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in New Orleans, La., that BP acted recklessly and bears most of the responsibility for the oil spill. The ruling exposes BP to about $18 million in civil fines under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 21, 2010 file photo, oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip, as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. An April 20, 2010 explosion at the offshore platform killed 11 men, and the subsequent leak released an estimated 172 million gallons of petroleum into the gulf. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in New Orleans, La., that BP acted recklessly and bears most of the responsibility for the oil spill. The ruling exposes BP to about $18 million in civil fines under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
n this Thursday, July 24, 2014 photo, third-generation fisherman Randy Slavich, left, and deckhand John Hoffmann pull in oysters in Lake of Second Trees in St. Bernard Parish, La.. Oyster harvests along the Gulf Coast have declined dramatically in the four years since the BP oil spill. Even after a slight rebound last year, thousands of acres of Louisiana oyster beds are producing less than a third of what they did before the nation’s worst offshore oil disaster. (AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance)
The shadow of a helicopter passes over oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in waters less than ten miles off the coast of Grand Isle, La., Monday, June 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A Blackhawk helicopter carrying Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal flies over oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in waters less than ten miles off the coast of Grand Isle, La., Monday, June 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala., Saturday, June 12, 2010. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess some 4-6 inches thick on the beach in some parts. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala., Saturday, June 12, 2010. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess some 4-6 inches thick on the beach in some parts. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
FILE - In this June 8, 2010 file photo, oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill coats marsh grass at the Louisiana coast along Barataria Bay. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
A Brown Pelican sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Plumes of smoke are seen as oil is burned off the surface of the water near the source of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana June 19, 2010. REUTERS/Lee Celano (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT ENERGY BUSINESS)
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is visible near the beach on Barataria Bay, Louisiana June 9, 2010. British energy giant BP's stock price plunged to a 14-year low in U.S. trading on Wednesday amid concerns over its ability to meet mounting costs of the giant Gulf of Mexico oil spill. President Barack Obama's administration, getting tough as polls show public disapproval over its handling of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, threatened new penalties on the company. REUTERS/Lee Celano (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT ENERGY BUSINESS)
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this handout photograph taken on April 21, 2010 and obtained on April 22. Eleven workers were missing and 17 injured in an explosion at the Transocean oil drilling rig, and crews were fighting the fire 16 hours later, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday. An estimated 126 people were aboard the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the explosion. Picture taken April 21, 2010. REUTERS/U.S. Coast Guard/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
A Portuguese Man-o-War is seen in clumps of oil in the waters in Chandeleur Sound, La., Monday, May 3, 2010. Fish and wildlife are vulnerable to the oil spill resulting from the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Under the terms of the original agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states, BP will pay at least $12.8 billion for Clean Water Act fines and natural resource damages, plus $4.9 billion to states. The payouts will be staggered over some 16 18 years.

The rig explosion on April 20, 2010, the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil onto the shorelines of several states for nearly three months. (Reporting By Jonathan Stempel and Terry Wade)

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