BP Plc has reached a comprehensive $18.7 billion settlement with the U.S. government and five states, a landmark deal that effectively ends years of litigation over environmental damage and human casualties caused by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

It could be the largest settlement with a single entity in U.S. history, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The April 20, 2010, rig explosion killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil for nearly three months onto the shorelines of several states.

The agreement covers U.S. Clean Water Act fines and natural resources damages, along with claims by Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and 400 local government entities.

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