Transocean, U.S. Talking $1.5 Billion Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

September 10, 2012

Transocean Ltd. is in discussions with the U.S. Justice Department to pay $1.5 billion to resolve civil and criminal claims from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Swiss-based company said on Monday.

Parties have been unable to reach an agreement so far, Swiss-based Transocean said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and BP Plc was the operator of the Macondo well, which ruptured on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and unleashing the worst-ever U.S. offshore oil spill.

London-based BP is also in talks with the Justice Department to resolve criminal and civil claims.

Transocean has reserved $2 billion to cover charges arising from a potential settlement, and said it does not expect any incremental charges to earnings. A Transocean spokesman had no immediate comment on the filing.

Unresolved issues include whether a settlement would include environmental damages under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, the timing of payments and the factual basis of a plea, Transocean said in its filing.

According to the Justice Department, both BP and Transocean made errors that led to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig and rupturing of the Macondo well, which spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 straight days.

Topics USA Energy Oil Gas

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