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BP accepts blame for US disasters, agrees to $373 mln in fines

BP pleads guilty to Texas explosion felony, Alaska oil leaks and market rigging.

The oil company BP Thursday accepted blame for failures to protect employees, the environment and consumers as it agreed to hand over a total of $373 million to settle a string of criminal investigations into its conduct across America. In an apparent effort to put lapses under the leadership of Lord Browne behind it, BP struck a broad deal with the US Department of Justice to address the catastrophic 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery, last year’s oil leaks from an Alaskan pipeline and a pattern of manipulation of propane prices by BP’s commodity traders.

In Washington, D.C., officials from six US law enforcement bodies gathered to announce the company’s guilty pleas. The acting attorney general, Peter Keisler, said the deal demonstrated the US government’s commitment to enforce laws to protect the integrity of both financial markets and the environment. (freeinternetpress)