RPT-UPDATE 3-U.S. says BP to pay $20 bln in fines for 2010 oil spill
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WASHINGTON Oct 5 (Reuters) - BP Plc will pay more than $20 billion in fines to resolve nearly all claims from its deadly Gulf of Mexico oil spill five years ago, marking the largest corporate settlement of its kind in U.S. history, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Monday.
The agreement, first outlined in July, adds to the $43.8 billion BP had previously set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs. The company has said its total pre-tax charge for the spill is now around $53.8 billion.
The total penalties Lynch announced on Monday sounded higher than the $18.7 billion deal reached to this summer, in part because she included $1 billion in restoration work BP had agreed to long beforehand.
BP's shares rose nearly 3 percent in New York to $33.45 each. Investors have praised the agreement as essentially capping liabilities that could have been much larger.
The fines - to be paid to the federal government, five Gulf Coast states and hundreds of municipalities over 18 years - will fund environmental restoration and economic development programs to address the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.
"This agreement will launch one of the largest environmental restoration efforts the world has ever seen," Lynch said.
The spill fouled 1,300 miles of coastline and dumped more than three million barrels of crude into the sea, hurting fishermen and prompting overhauls of safety rules and emergency plans in one of the world's most prolific offshore oil basins. Continuación...