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BP suspended from new US state contracts

Washington - The British oil company BP Plc and its affiliates have been suspended from new contracts with the US government due to the criminal charges in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, BP plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the worst oil spill in US history, and agreed to pay record penalties of $4.5 billion.

The temporary contract suspension stems from those charges, the EPA said.

“Federal executive branch agencies take these actions to ensure the integrity of federal programs by conducting business only with responsible individuals or companies. Suspensions are a standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case,” the EPA said in a statement.

In London, BP had no immediate comment. The company recognized the risk that it could be banned from US government contracts when it agreed earlier this month to plead guilty to criminal charges over the spill, but it said at the time that it had not received any indication that government departments would go ahead with such a ban. - Reuters

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