Texas to get nearly $790M in BP oil spill settlement

FILE - In this April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice, La. BP and five Gulf states announced an $18.7 billion settlement Thursday, July 2, 2015, that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant’s oil spill in 2010. The settlement involves Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - In this April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice, La. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — Trying to close the books on the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP agreed Thursday to provide billions of dollars in new money to five Gulf Coast states in a deal the company said would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion.

Federal and state government officials touted the record-breaking $18.7 billion agreement as a historic milestone in the Gulf Coast’s recovery. The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude that stained beaches, coated wildlife and polluted marshes.

Texas is receiving nearly $790 million as part of the settlement that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Gov. Greg Abbott says the settlement will allow Texas and the rest of the Gulf Coast to “reinvigorate the economic and environmental health of the region.”

In its lawsuit, Texas claimed the spill cost the state tax revenue, reduced revenues at state parks and injured, destroyed or contaminated coastal habitats and a variety of wildlife.

BP also gets a valuable return: Much of the payments, to be made over the next 18 years, could be tax-deductible. And by finally providing shareholders with a clearer cost picture, the London-based oil giant will be freer to embark on new ventures.

“This allows us to manage BP as an oil company,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said during a conference call. He said BP could launch as many as 20 major new projects by 2020, depending on oil prices.

The Justice Department said Thursday’s agreement would be the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history as well as the largest-ever civil settlement with a single entity. Civil claims by the five Gulf states and the federal government were, by far, the largest unresolved piece of BP’s financial obligations for the spill.

The deal includes $8.1 billion in payments to state and local governments in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for natural resource damage. It also includes a $5.5 billion Clean Water Act penalty, most of which the states would share.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s