WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday an end to its ban on BP obtaining government contracts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The EPA said in a tweeted statement that BP "agreed to safety and ethics improvements" in exchange for removing the ban, which had hurt the British company's ability to do business in the United States.
BP said the five-year deal with the EPA will allow it to pursue new oil exploration leases in deepwater tracts in the Gulf of Mexico, which still bear many traces of the worst oil spill in US history.
"After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable," John Minge, chairman and president of BP America, said in a statement.
"Today's agreement will allow America's largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases."