One of BP’s partners in the Macondo oil rig disaster is paying $90million (£56.7m) in a settlement with the US authorities.
The US Department of Justice said Japanese firm MOEX Offshore 2007 agreed to pay the sum for its part in the spill in April 2010, which was the largest in recorded US history leaking several million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
At the time of the Macondo blowout MOEX held a minority stake in the lease for the Macondo well, which has been estimated at 10%, although it no longer owns this.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said: “This landmark settlement is an important step – but only a first step – toward achieving accountability and protecting the future of the Gulf ecosystem by funding critical habitat preservation projects.”
British oil giant BP and its other partner in the well Anardarko have not settled outside the court yet. They may choose to do so before the upcoming trial.