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Transocean Pleads Guilty to Violating Clean Water Act

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Transocean Ltd. pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Clean Water Act for its role in the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Transocean, the Vernier, Switzerland-based owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that burned and sunk in the gulf, agreed last month to pay a $400 million criminal fine and $1 billion in civil penalties to the U.S. The company pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count today in federal court in New Orleans.

“Does Transocean wish to plead guilty to count one of the bill of information,” U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo asked the company’s lawyer at the hearing.

“It does,” Transocean lawyer Brad Brian replied.

The judge will consider whether to approve the plea at today’s hearing.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Transocean Deepwater Inc., 13-cr-001, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

To contact the reporters on this story: Allen Johnson Jr. in New Orleans federal court. Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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