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BP begins to put spill behind it with settlement
BP settles with people, businesses affected by spill but still must deal with government
By The Associated Press

BP has taken a major step toward putting the nation's worst oil spill behind it by agreeing to a $7.8 billion settlement of lawsuits filed by 100,000 victims.

Analysts say they now expect BP to move quickly to settle the rest of the claims against it.

If approved by the court, Friday's settlement could remove one of BP's biggest legal and financial threats arising from the spill. But it does not resolve state claims against the company or federal fines and penalties that could reach $21.1 billion. BP is also mired in lawsuits with some of its partners in the Macondo project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The accident in April 2010 killed 11 workers, spilled an estimated 200 million gallons of oil and disrupted thousands of Gulf Coast lives.

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