News bites: Some hostages escape from Algerian gas plant

Some hostages reportedly escaped an Algerian gas plant that was taken over by Islamist gunmen, according to Reuters. The wire service did not indicate whether any of the American captives made the break.

BP and the Justice Department agreed that the oil firm’s record $4 billion criminal settlement for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was fair and appropriate, the Houston Chronicle reports.

BP said North American shale oil would pressure Middle East cartel OPEC to cut its own crude oil production, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his nation must reduce its economic reliance on oil to overcome Western sanctions, USA Today reports.

Oil futures hit a nearly four-month high, Bloomberg notes.