BP agrees to record criminal penalties for US oil spill
Wall Street analysts said the deal will allow BP to focus again on oil production, while one U.S. senator from Louisiana said he hoped the settlement would not prevent his state and others from collecting civil penalties.
Investors shrugged off the news, and BP shares listed in New York and London were little changed on the day.
It certainly is an encouraging step, said Pavel Molchanov, oil company analyst with Raymond James. By eliminating the overhang of the criminal litigation, it is another step in clearing up BP's legal framework as it relates to Macondo.
The disaster has dragged BP from second to a distant fourth in the ranking of top Western oil companies by value.
With these unprecedented criminal penalties assessed, I urge the Obama administration to be equally aggressive in securing civil monies that can help save our Louisiana coast through other avenues, Louisiana Senator David Vitter said in a statement. I certainly hope they didn't trade any of those monies away just to nail this criminal scalp to the wall.
Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation, called the settlement a good down payment on what BP should ultimately pay, which the environmental group argues is tens of billions of dollars more.
BP said the payments
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