The US has lifted a ban on BP which prevented the oil giant from bidding for new government contracts.
It had been barred from signing new US contracts following its involvement in the 2010 oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion at the rig killed 11 workers and spilled more than four million barrels of oil into the Gulf.
It has now reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enter into new government contracts, including in the Gulf of Mexico (pictured), considering it meets some requirements.
BP has agreed to set a “safety and operations, ethics and compliance and corporate governance requirements” which will apply for five years. It will also dismiss the lawsuit it filed against the EPA in a federal court in Texas for “improper statutory disqualification and suspension”.
BP is also required to retain an independent auditor approved by the EPA who will conduct an annual review and report on the energy giant’s compliance with the agreement.
John Mingé, Chairman and President of BP America said: “After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable. Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”
BP claims to have invested more than any other energy company in the US in the last five years, with nearly $50 billion (£30bn) in total.