Houston: British Petroleum (BP) has reached a USD 7.8 billion deal with thousands of fishermen and other plaintiffs who had filed a suit over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill off the US coast, the worst spill in the American history that had claimed 11 lives.

The out-of-court settlement would delay the trial that had been set for Monday, but many legal issues still remained unresolved.
In a statement posted on its website, BP said the nearly USD 8 billion settlement would be paid from the USD 20 billion fund set up in the wake of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig disaster that claimed 11 lives and resulted in the worst oil spill in US history.

The settlement includes a commitment by BP worth USD 2.3 billion to help resolve economic loss claims related to the Gulf seafood industry.
The settlement has resulted in yet another delay to the start of BP's long-awaited trial in federal court in New Orleans, which was to have started on March 5 after a one-week postponement, while attorneys for the oil company and those representing the plaintiffs worked to hammer out a deal.
"From the beginning, BP stepped up to meet our obligations to the communities in the Gulf Coast region, and we've worked hard to deliver on that commitment for nearly two years," said Bob Dudley, BP Group CEO, in the statement.
BP said the proposed settlement is not expected to increase the USD 37.2 billion charge -- taking into account the USD 20 billion trust fund charge -- previously pushed through BP's financial statements.
The settlement does not include separate claims against BP made by the Department of Justice or other federal agencies, the company's partners in the Macondo well that was being drilled at the time of the disaster, Gulf states or shareholders.