a news release early Saturday, the U.K. petroleum giant said it had reached the settlement with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, which represents diverse plaintiffs in the complex case. The settlement, news of which comes just two days before the trial was scheduled to start, is subject to final written agreement, the release said. BP said it estimated that the cost of the settlement will be about $7.8 billion and will be paid from a $20 billion trust the company set up to cover claims related to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blowout and the resulting oil spill. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll The estimated cost includes a BP commitment of $2.3 billion to deal with economic-loss claims related to the Gulf's seafood industry, the release added. The blowout and oil leak were the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history. Shares of BP ended Friday down 34 cents at $47.50.
|In this April 21, 2010 file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews spray water on the blazing remnants of BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.|