Transocean Settles Deepwater Horizon Claims
By Karen Boman
Drilling contractor Transocean and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached an agreement Thursday to settle outstanding civil and potential criminal claims related to the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, concluding DOJ’s criminal investigation of Transocean’s role in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Under the agreement, Transocean will plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for negligent discharge of oil into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and pay $1.4 billion in fines, recoveries and penalties, excluding interest. The violation is related to well monitoring in connection with specific operations during the temporary abandonment procedure conducted on April 20, 2010.
The company will pay the fines over a five-year period, using available cash and cash flow from its operations. The anticipated payment schedule will be:
- $560 million in 2013
- $460 million in 2014
- $260 million in 2015
- $60 million in 2016
- $60 million in 2017
To settle potential criminal claims, Transocean will pay $100 million in fines within 60 days of the agreement receiving U.S. federal court approval. Transocean also will pay $150 million to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) over a five-year period; these funds will be used for oil spill prevention and response efforts in the U.S. Gulf.
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