Oil Rig’s Owner Will Settle Gulf Spill Case for $1.4 Billion
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
“While this settlement resolves the government’s claims against Transocean, that company and the others involved in the spill still face the sprawling, multistate civil case, which is scheduled to begin in February in New Orleans. In a deal filed in federal court in New Orleans, a subsidiary, Transocean Deepwater, agreed to one criminal misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act and will pay a fine of $100 million. Over the next five years, the company will pay civil penalties of $1 billion, the largest ever under the act.
“As part of the criminal settlement, Transocean also agreed to pay the National Academy of Sciences and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $150 million each. Those funds will be applied to oil spill prevention and response in the Gulf of Mexico and natural resource restoration projects. The agreement will be subject to public comment and court approval. The company agreed to five years of monitoring of its drilling practices and improved safety measures.
“In a statement, Transocean Ltd., the Switzerland-based parent of the rig owner, said that the company thought these were “important agreements” and called them a “positive step forward” that were “in the best interest of its shareholders and employees.” Of the 11 men killed on the rig, the company said, “their families continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of all of us at Transocean.”