The U.S. initially sought $25 billion to clean up decades of contamination at dozens of sites. A U.S. bankruptcy judge in New York in December found Kerr-McGee had improperly shifted its environmental liabilities to Tronox and should pay between $5.15 billion and $14.2 billion, plus attorney's fees. Cole said at a news conference Thursday that the government decided that the $5.15 amount was more than enough to cover the damages.
"It provides us with recovery now as opposed to years and years down the road," he said.
Tronox said in a statement that the settlement means environmental cleanup can begin and that people harmed by the pollution can be compensated.
After the settlement's announcement, Anadarko's stock rose 15 percent, to $99.43.