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BP to Pay Record $4.5B Criminal Fine Over 2010 Oil Spill

November 19, 2012 // BP, BP, Business, Law, News and Views


By Matthew Huisman

BPPLC has reached a settlement today with the Justice Department, in which the company will pay $4.5 billion and plead guilty to criminal misconduct charges related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. 

According to a release from the company, BP will pay$4 billion to the Justice Department over the course of five years and $525million to the Securities and Exchange Commission over the course of three years. The penalty far exceeds the $1.3 billion fine Pfizer forked over in 2009 for the false marketing of Bextra pain medication.

As part of the pending settlement, BP plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct or neglect of ships officers. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig killed 11 workers and pumped oil into the Gulf of Mexico for three months during the summer of 2010.

Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against former BP engineer Kurt Mix in August for allegedly destroying evidence, amounting to obstruction of justice.In the release, BP said that it will vigorously defend any remaining civil claims.

“Allof us at BP deeply regret the tragic loss of life caused by the DeepwaterHorizon accident as well as the impact of the spill on the Gulf coast region,” Bob Dudley, BP’s group chief executive, said in a written statement. “From theoutset, we stepped up by responding to the spill, paying legitimate claims andfunding restoration efforts in the Gulf. We apologize for our role in theaccident, and as today’s resolution with the U.S. government further reflects,we have accepted responsibility for our actions.”

Federal prosecutors will be holding a press conference about the settlement this afternoon in New Orleans.

One Comment

  1. Any purchase of stock of a vlotaile company is always risky…if it weren’t then everyone would purchase and there would be no need to have this discussion. Simply stated, smart and talented investors gamble with risky stock all the time. The true test is to observe a particular company’s profit potential, which is what we always do. Is the company sound? What’s the recent trading activity for that company or its overall trading history? Those are just some of the indicators that make purchasing stock worth while, and investing in BP stock under the current climate will prove to be beneficial in the long run. The fact remains is that BP stock, while once considered fairly expensive is now being sold at a much cheaper price. In this regard, BP’s share at its all-time high sold at $62.68. Its all-time low was $26.00. Yesterday it closed at $38.92. What more do you want??? This is a no brainer, people! You’re looking for guarantees then don’t buy stocks! I get it!! I comprehend the concerns!! BP is not held in high regards these days .the BP executives are loathed and abhorred (maybe not as much as Mel Gibson these days…okay, okay, that’s another topic)…they’re exposed to years of potential litigation, as well as insurmountable clean-up costs…everyone wonders if they will ultimately file bankruptcy…the list goes on and on! However, none of that alters the fact that BP is a multi-billion dollar company. I read once that they made a $6 billion profit in one quarter. Do you know what that means? It means that this disaster, as horrific as it has been will not cripple this company to debilitating proportions. It’s not going to happen. The interesting question, I believe, is where do people stand morally? What about those who feel that they can’t support or associate themselves with a company that has caused such catastrophic results in the Gulf and initially manifested nothing but blatant disregard? Didn’t BP CEO, initially classify the spill as “nothing significant” or something like that? Does that not matter? Are we to put that aside and only focus on the financial aspect of this situation? Is the concern only about profit and gains? Uh, yeah!!! That’s why we have the stock market. This is a business and the bottom line is that none of the foregoing is going to prevent investors from investing in BP. Why shouldn’t we get a piece of the action? Maybe one can argue it’s still too early to invest? That we should we wait to see the results of the containment cap? I guess that’s a valid position. I understand that the containment cap is still in the testing stage. And, yes, no one is prepared to breathe a sigh of relief – not even our President. And, yes, the stock can plummet again, but there’s always that possibility. That’s why buying stock is considered risky. But I think that’s a remote possibility and the stock will actually soar and I’m not going to miss out. Should you use up your life savings or child’s college tuition and buy up as much stock as possible? Probably not, but maybe you can forgo those Jimmy Choos this month. At the end of the day, don’t let me twist your arm. While you’re busy wallowing in your ambivalence and skepticism, I’ll gladly purchase your shares – thank you. More for me! The Cap will work. It has to. So you know what I say “buy as many shares as you can afford and in 2 years or 3, maybe more, you’ll be dancing on the ceiling…with plenty more Jimmy Choos!”

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