BP banned from US government contracts

PHOTO: BP banned from US government contracts

WASHINGTON - British oil giant BP was temporarily banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency from US government contracts Wednesday due to its behaviour in the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

"EPA is taking this action due to BP's lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company's conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response," the agency said.

The EPA cited BP's admission of guilt two weeks ago to Justice Department charges in the disaster, which left 11 people dead and spewed some 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and blackened beaches in five states.

On November 15, BP signed a plea agreement acknowledging guilt on 11 counts of manslaughter, one count of felony obstruction of Congress and two environmental violations.

The EPA said the ban on BP and affiliates from receiving government contracts "until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards."