In an historic settlement announced Nov. 15, BP agreed to plead guilty to felony manslaughter, environmental crimes and obstruction of justice and to pay more than $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties for its conduct leading to the devastating Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The settlement, the largest of its kind in U.S. history, should give the cleanup and restoration effort in the Gulf of Mexico a boost: A significant portion of the fines will go directly toward Gulf restoration and cleanup, Justice Dept. officials said at a Nov. 15 press conference
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.