Business

BP regains ability to bid on leases for US land, water

Fire boat crews poured water on the burning BP oil rig on April 21, 2010.
Fire boat crews poured water on the burning BP oil rig on April 21, 2010.

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WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency and BP have reached an agreement that lifts a ban on BP’s ability to hold government contracts that has barred the company from bidding on oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters because of the massive oil spill triggered by a blowout on a BP well in April 2010.

BP, the largest lease-holder and one of the largest oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico, had been pressing for an end to its debarment in order to conduct business more freely and to reassure shareholders that the company could move beyond the accident at its Macondo well. The accident killed 11 workers, sank the half-billion-dollar Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, and spilled as much as 4.2 million barrels into the gulf.

The London-based oil giant filed a lawsuit in a Texas federal court last August, asserting that it had been punished enough and that it was doing its best to make amends for the April 2010 spill.

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