U.S. Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval on Monday to BP Plc's (BP.L) civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after it reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states.

The company at the time said its total pretax charges from the spill set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs were around $53.8 billion.

Under the terms of the original agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states, BP will pay at least $12.8 billion for Clean Water Act fines and natural resource damages, plus $4.9 billion to states. The payouts will be staggered over some 16 to 18 years.

The rig explosion on April 20, 2010, the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil onto the shorelines of several states for nearly three months.