BP agrees to pay $50m Texas fine

BP has agreed to pay a $50.6m fine for safety violations at its Texas City refinery, the troubled plant where 15 workers were killed in an explosion five years ago.

The fine is part of an $87.4m penalty imposed on the oil giant last October by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The watchdog said at the time that the safety failures at the refinery could have resulted in another accident, as it identified 709 separate problems.

However, since then BP has been contesting many of these citations. The fine it has now agreed to pay represents around 270 of them – it is continuing to discuss the remainder, to which the rest of the fine relates.

Steve Cornell, the head of BP's US Refining business, said: "We have significantly improved the safety of our operations at Texas City over the last five years and are determined to carry this effort forward effectively in the future."