BP pleads guilty in Deepwater Horizon case; agrees to safety auditor

New Orleans – BP recently agreed to retain an independent auditor to oversee its process safety, risk management and drilling equipment maintenance in Gulf of Mexico operations as part of a guilty plea related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

The company pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to criminal charges of felony manslaughter, environmental crimes and obstruction of Congress in connection with the 2010 explosion that killed 11 workers. In addition to the auditor, the company’s plea agreement (.pdf file) includes retaining a process safety and risk management monitor.

In entering the guilty plea, BP admitted to “negligent conduct” that caused the deaths and created the largest man-made oil spill in U.S. history. The oil company also agreed to pay a record $4 billion in fines and penalties for conduct leading up to the explosion.

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