USA Today

A federal judge on Tuesday approved a plea deal between energy giant BP and the U.S. Justice Department for the company's role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, finalizing BP's criminal liability for the spill's aftermath.

As part of the agreement, BP agreed to pay $4 billion in fines — the largest criminal resolution in U.S. history — and pleaded guilty to 14 counts of criminal acts ranging from obstruction of Congress to felony manslaughter.

BP agreed to the deal in November, and it was finalized Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance. BP was leasing the Deepwater Horizon rig in April 2010 when it exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 crewmen and releasing about 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf.

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