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BP oil spill settlement approved by judge

The BP oil spill settlement approved by a federal judge includes $4 billion in penalties and manslaughter charges.

Transocean settlement deepwater oil spill jan 3 2013Enlarge
Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Transocean, the company that owned the oil rig, will pay a $1.4 billion fine, the Justice Department said on Jan 3, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard/AFP/Getty Images)

A federal judge signed off today on a $4 billion settlement for the 2010 explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP agreed in November to plead guilty to manslaughter and pay the record $4 billion in criminal penalties for its role in the oil disaster, Reuters reported.

More from GlobalPost: Transocean to pay record $1.4 billion fine for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

A federal judge in New Orleans approved the agreement today.

US District Judge Sarah Vance heard testimony from family members of the 11 workers who died when BP's mile-deep Macondo well triggered an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, The Associated Press reported.

More from GlobalPost: BP to admit crimes and pay $4.5 billion over Gulf oil spill

The broken well spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf for 87 days.

BP also pleaded guilty under the deal to a felony for lying to Congress about the spill and two misdemeanors, according to Reuters.

The company's future drilling operations will also be monitored for the next four years, Bloomberg reported.

The deal doesn't resolve state and federal civil claims against BP.

According to the AP, the company could pay billions more in penalties for environmental damage to the Gulf and shorelines of states stretching from Texas to Florida.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130129/bp-oil-spill-settlement-approved-judge