LONDON (UPI) — BP may find some of its engineers imprisoned and the company facing as much as $5 billion in penalties related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The BBC reports that it expects the U.S. Department of Justice to announce Thursday that some BP employees may face jail time and the company could face fines as high as $5 billion for the 2010 incident, the worst accidental offshore oil spill in history.
BP, in a statement Thursday, said there haven’t been final agreements on resolutions, which would be subject to court approval, though talks were under way.
“BP confirms that it is in advanced discussions with the United States Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding proposed resolutions of all U.S. federal government criminal and SEC claims against BP in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident,” the company stated.
BP in March agreed to pay around $7.8 billion to settle claims for economic loss and property damage from the spill that resulted from the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform off the Louisiana coast.
A report from U.S. regulators determined the blowout that led to the explosion that sunk the platform in 2010 came from the failure of a cement barrier at an underwater oil well.
A 37-page memo submitted to the U.S. District Court in New Orleans alleges a “culture of corporate recklessness” at BP led to the 2010 disaster.
A January court date in New Orleans was delayed six weeks to accommodate the NFL’s Super Bowl and Mardi Gras, both which are in New Orleans the first two weeks of February.