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The United States announced an end to its ban on BP obtaining government contracts following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The Environmental Protection Agency said that BP "agreed to safety and ethics improvements" in exchange for removing the ban, which had hurt the British company's ability to do business in the United States. The five-year deal with the EPA will allow BP to pursue new oil exploration leases in deepwater tracts in the Gulf of Mexico, which still bears many traces of the massive 2010 spill, the worst in US history. Under the deal, BP must add and expand efforts in corporate ethics and compliance, enforce a detailed code of conduct, and meet EPA audit requirements.