BP, plaintiffs reach $7.8B Gulf spill settlement

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- BP PLC has agreed to settle lawsuits from thousands of fishermen who lost work and others who claimed they were harmed by the oil giant's 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The oil giant said Friday it expects to pay out at least $7.8 billion dollars as part of the settlement. It says it expects the money to come from the $20 billion compensation fund that it previously set out.

BP still has to resolve claims by the U.S. government, Gulf states and its partners in the doomed Deepwater Horizon project, in which pressure from a well a mile below the ocean's surface blew up a massive drilling rig, killing 11 men and spewing oil into the sea for nearly three months.