The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in 2010, unleashing an unmatched oil spill from BP’s Macondo well.
About eight months later, the Justice Department filed suit to recover damages.
BP entered into a $4.5 billion settlement of criminal claims in November.
The owner of the rig, Transocean, has just agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal judge is likely to sign off on the agreement at a hearing set for Feb. 14.
Carrie Johnson, NPR’s Justice Correspondent, has been following this case from the beginning.