NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has lifted its ban on BP (BP) allowing the British oil and gas company to bid on federal contracts in the United States.
BP had been banned from doing so after pleading guilty to criminal charges following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010.
As part of an agreement that will last five years, the EPA will require BP to retain an auditor who will conduct an annual review to make sure the energy company is complying with the parameters set by the EPA. The EPA has must approve the auditor. There are specific provisions in the agreement regarding ethics compliance, corporate governance and process safety.
Must Read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Stocks
Craig Hooks, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Administration and Resources Management, said, "Many months of discussions and assessments have led up to this point, and I'm confident we've secured strong provisions to protect the integrity of federal procurement programs."
BP pleaded guilty in 2012 to manslaughter charges connected to the explosion and fireball that eventually sunk the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010. That explosion killed 11 crew members and set off a chain of events that led to a leak in the oil well that could not be plugged for four months. BP paid a record $4.5 billion in penalties to the U.S. as a part of its plea deal.
The lifting of the ban, which takes effect immediately, will allow BP to resume operations at its Houston corporate facility.
BP shares rose 0.2% on Friday to $47.71.