BP begins to put spill behind it with settlement

BP has taken a major step toward putting the nation

FILE - In a June 23, 2010 file photo, crews work to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washed ashore at Pensacola Beach in Pensacola Fla. In a reversal, the Obama administration says it will not pursue offshore drilling in East Coast waters, including the eastern Gulf of Mexico. A senior administration official told The Associated Press on Wednesday, Dec. 1,, 2010 that because of the BP oil spill, the Interior Department will not propose any new oil drilling in the East Coast for at least the next seven years. (AP Photo/ Michael Spooneybarger, File)

(AP)- BP has taken a major step toward putting the nation's worst oil spill behind it by agreeing to a $7.8 billion settlement of lawsuits filed by 100,000 victims.

Analysts say they now expect BP to move quickly to settle the rest of the claims against it.

If approved by the court, Friday's settlement could remove one of BP's biggest legal and financial threats arising from the spill. But it does not resolve state claims against the company or federal fines and penalties that could reach $21.1 billion. BP is also mired in lawsuits with some of its partners in the Macondo project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The accident in April 2010 killed 11 workers, spilled an estimated 200 million gallons of oil and disrupted thousands of Gulf Coast lives.


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