Corrected: US judge approves Transocean's $400m criminal settlement

14 February 2013 16:55  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined “US judge approves Transocean's $1.4bn settlement for oil spill” dated 14 February 2013, please read the headline as ...“$400m criminal settlement”… instead of … "$1.4bn settlement" …

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined “US judge approves Transocean's $1.4bn settlement for oil spill" dated 14 February 2013, please read in the first paragraph … “the $400m criminal settlement as part of the $1.4bn agreement” … instead of … “a $1.4bn agreement” …. A corrected story follows.

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US district court judge on Thursday approved the $400m (€296m) criminal settlement as part of the $1.4bn agreement for offshore drilling company Transocean to settle charges in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

Transocean signed a guilty plea agreement on 3 January to pay a record $1bn in civil penalties to resolve federal Clean Water Act claims for the three-month spill at the Macondo well and an additional $400m in criminal fines, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said. The company will make payments over a five-year period.

According to court documents, Transocean provided an offshore drilling unit and crew to implement UK-based oil giant BP’s plan for the Macondo well. The April 2010 explosion and fire in the US Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and sunk the Deepwater Horizon rig, leading to a massive spill.

By pleading guilty, Transocean has admitted that its crew onboard the Deepwater Horizon were negligent in failing to fully investigate clear indications that the Macondo well was not secure and that oil was flowing from the well, the DOJ said.

Transocean will continue to cooperate with the government’s criminal investigation, and its subsidiaries must implement court-enforceable measures to improve operational safety and emergency response capabilities at all of their drilling rigs, the DOJ added.

In connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP will pay $4bn to settle federal criminal charges and an additional $525m to settle claims made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Separately, BP reached an economic- and property-damage settlement agreement with several people and businesses who sued the company following the spill.

In addition, three of BP’s managers and a former engineer also face criminal charges.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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