NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ More than five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP is preparing to pay a record $18.7 billion to affected states.
The oil giant hopes the settlement announced Thursday will bring an end to a long-running legal drama. The company said the settlement would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion. The new settlement will be paid out over 18 years.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010 killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude across the Gulf Coast.
The Justice Department said the agreement would be the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history.
It must still go through a public comments period and be approved by a judge before becoming final.