BP has reached definitive agreements with more than 100,000 private plaintiffs to resolve claims for economic, property and medical damages resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill
Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Reuters
The oil major said it still believes the cost of the settlement will be $7.8bn (£4.9bn), to be paid from a $20bn trust it had previously set aside.
BP also asked a US judge for a lengthy delay before holding a trial over remaining claims which have not been settled.
The oil company is seeking the delay because BP and the plaintiffs' lawyers have "markedly different opinions" regarding the strength of their cases, and neither confidently expects "a complete victory".
Llitigation could easily last 10 years, they said in papers filed on Wednesday with the federal court in New Orleans.
Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and triggered the largest-ever US offshore oil spill, after BP's Macondo well ruptured.
The $7.8bn payout from BP would be one of the biggest class-action settlements in US history.
"BP made a commitment to help economic and environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast," BP's chief executive Bob Dudley said today.
"This settlement provides the framework for us to continue delivering on that promise, offering those affected full and fair compensation, without waiting for the outcome of a lengthy trial process."