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Alaska to collect $255 million for 2006 BP spill

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Alaska will collect $255 million related to BP Plc's pipeline leaks and a resulting shutdown in 2006 in the Prudhoe Bay oilfield, the state's Department of Law said on Thursday.

BP said in a statement that its share of the award was $66 million. Its major partners in the Prudhoe Bay field include Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips.

The payment, which is final and not subject to appeal, includes a $245 million award from a panel of three arbitrators and $10 million to settle civil assessments for the spills, the state said in a statement.

The settlement is for lost royalties and interest from the lack of production, according to the parties and the agreement.

Corroded oil transit pipelines led to the spill in March 2006 and the partial shutdown of the field in August of that year. A federal investigation concluded BP failed to adequately maintain the pipelines and blamed a cost-cutting mentality at the company for the incidents.

In 2007, BP pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor environmental crime and paid $20 million in fines to settle all federal and state criminal investigations into the corrosion problems.

(Reporting by Yereth Rosen in Anchorage; Writing by Braden Reddall; Editing by Gary Hill, Bernard Orr, Eric Walsh)

(This story was corrected to drop the reference to environmental fines in the fourth paragraph)

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