BP has agreed a $4.5bn (£2.8bn) settlement with US authorities for claims relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
It includes the biggest criminal fine in US history of $1.26bn.
The 2010 disaster killed eleven workers and led to the release of millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
- Watch ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore's video report:
The US Attorney General said the deal is the "largest total criminal resolution in the history of the United States."
He also confirmed tha ttwo BP workers have been indicted on 23 criminal counts. A former BP official is also charged with concealing information from the US Congress.
The oil giant plead guilty to 14 criminal charges:
- Eleven felony counts of Misconduct or Neglect of Ships Officers relating to the loss of 11 lives
- One misdemeanour count under the Clean Water Act
- One misdemeanour count under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
- One felony count of obstruction of Congress
The fine will be paid over five years, under the deal reached with the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange.
BP will also pay an additional $525m (£331 million) to the SEC over a period of three years.
In a statement, BP's Group Chief Executive, Bob Dudley said:
BP also said it will "continue to vigorously defend itself" against civil claims and allegations of gross negligence.
"We are open to settlements, but only on reasonable terms," said Mr Dudley.
The company's shares dropped 0.4% to 425.4p after the agreement announcement just before the market close.
But the stock had been higher earlier in the session as investors saw the deal removing some of the uncertainty hanging over the stock since the disaster.
The US Attorney General Eric Holder said of the deal:
Environment campaigners Greenpeace said:
BP's record-breaking fine surpasses the previous record $1.3 billion fine (£820 million) paid by drugs group Pfizer in 2009 for marketing fraud related to a pain medicine.
BP has already paid out more than 38 billion dollars (£24 billion) relating to the oil spill.