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
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
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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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