WASHINGTON – British Petroleum is free to do business with the U.S. government once again after reaching an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

In late 2012 the oil giant had been was prohibited from receiving government contracts due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that resulted in nearly five million  barrels of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. 

“After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable,” John Mingé, chairman and president of BP America Inc., said.  “Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”

The agreement will include deepwater leases, which comes less than a week before 40 millions acres of Gulf of Mexico leases go up for sale, as well as contracts with the Department of Defense worth over $2 billion annually.

Under the five-year agreement BP will have to adhere to standards on safety, operations,
ethics and corporate governance and report to an independent auditor.

“This is a fair agreement that requires BP to improve its practices in order to meet the terms we’ve outlined together,” Craig Hooks, the assistant administrator for the Office of Administration and Resources Management, said. “Many months of discussions and assessments have led up to this point, and I’m confident we’ve secured strong provisions to protect the integrity of federal procurement programs.”

BP has also agreed to dismiss a lawsuit they filed against the EPA in federal court over the suspension that alleged the agency had improperly used their powers.

The federal government is still pursuing damages against BP under the Clean Water Act in the last phase of the trial over the oil spill.

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