BP is hoping to reach a settlement with the US authorities in which it would pay less than $15bn to resolve all criminal and civil penalties and damages arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. That figure is substantially less than the $25bn the Department of Justice is seeking from BP, according to the Financial Times. An agreement could be reached before the Democratic party’s convention in September. Efforts by Bob Dudley, BP chief executive, to rebuild the company have been hampered by lingering uncertainty over the scale of the final bill for the Gulf of Mexico disaster, which killed 11 men and caused the world’s largest offshore oil spill. BP has already set aside $37.2bn for the costs of the spill. This includes just $3.5bn for penalties under the Clean Water Act, which could potentially be significantly higher. Those penalties could be more than $17.5bn if BP is judged to have acted with gross negligence – a charge the company has always denied. Authorities are also seeking damages for the cost of restoring the Gulf coastline.