BP Says Oil Spill Settlement Deal Close

The company faces the largest corporate payout ever.

Posted: 11/15/2012 08:46 AM EST

Oil giant BP announced Thursday that it is in final talks with the Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission regarding resolution of all criminal and SEC claims stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In a statement, the company said, “No final agreements have yet been reached and any resolutions, if agreed, would be subject to federal court approvals in the United States,” however, many suspect that the outcome of any settlement between BP and the U.S. government will exceed the record $1.2 billion payout by pharmaceutical company Pfizer in 2009.

The Deepwater Horizon spill began on April 20, 2010, when a fire erupted aboard the rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers died in the fire and explosion that set off a spill spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf over a span of 87 days before it was contained.

Communities in the Gulf were severely affected by the spill, causing health problems, environmental ruin and huge economic losses for the tourism and commercial fishing industries.

BP noted that the expected resolutions will not cover a host of claims stemming from the disaster including a host of federal civil claims and certain private civil claims.

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(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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