Rig Owner Pays $1.4bn to Settle Over Deepwater

Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, settles over criminal and civil charges.

EPI2oh/Flickr

Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig at the centre of BP’s Gulf of Mexico blowout, has reached a $1.4bn settlement with the Department of Justice to settle criminal and civil charges.

The Swiss-based rig operator has been in the dock since April 2010 saw the worst spill in American history. The $1bn in civil penalties and $400m in criminal ones is in line with what the company was expecting.

A formal statement had not been released on Thursday night but sources in the US confirmed the two sides had reached a deal far lower than the $4.5bn agreed by BP, which only covered criminal claims.

Shares in Transocean soared 10% as Wall Street investors saw a major cloud being lifted. Transocean had said in a regulatory filing three months ago that it had discussed a $1.5bn settlement with the DoJ but had set aside a $2bn fund for paying claims related to the Macondo disaster, when 11 lives were lost.

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