British oil giant BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal fine in U.S. history under a landmark settlement of criminal penalties related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and oil spill, a federal official familiar with the matter said Thursday. An announcement was expected to be made later Thursday in New Orleans, the official told the Houston Chronicle, speaking on condition of anonymity. The amount of the penalty was not immediately disclosed. USA Today said it would be “up to $5 billion.”
According to the Associated Press, two BP PLC employees face manslaughter charges over the death of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the massive spill. The AP also reported BP will plead guilty to obstruction for lying to Congress about how much oil was pouring out of the ruptured well. Earlier, BP said in a statement that it was in “advanced discussions” with the U.S. government to resolve federal criminal and Securities and Exchange Commission claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.