Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Transocean $1 Billion Gulf Oil-Spill Settlement Approved

Transocean Ltd. won court approval of its $1 billion settlement with the U.S. of pollution claims stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil-rig explosion that triggered the biggest U.S. offshore spill.

Transocean said last month that it would pay $1.4 billion, including a $400 million criminal penalty, to settle federal claims it violated the U.S. Clean Water Act. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who is overseeing lawsuits stemming from the spill, approved the $1 billion civil portion today.

A nonjury trial over fault for the disaster is scheduled to begin in federal court in New Orleans Feb. 25. Barbier will also determine whether any of the companies involved in drilling the well acted with gross negligence or reckless indifference.

Transocean was the owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which burned and sank in April 2010 after BP Plc’s Macondo well exploded. The U.S. sued Vernier, Switzerland-based Transocean in 2010, alleging violations of pollution law. Under an agreement with the U.S., Transocean must establish a technology innovation group to focus on drilling safety, devoting at least $10 million to the effort.

The blowout and explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and spilled more than 4 million barrels of oil into the gulf. The accident prompted hundreds of lawsuits against BP, Transocean and Halliburton Co., which provided cementing services for the project.

Guilty Plea

Transocean also agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating the Clean Water Act and consented to pay $400 million in criminal penalties. U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo last week gave final approval to the plea at a hearing in federal court in New Orleans.

BP pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including 12 felonies, agreeing to pay $4 billion in criminal fines and penalties, as well as $525 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission claim that it underestimated the size of the spill. Civil U.S. pollution-law claims against London-based BP haven’t been settled.

BP reached a settlement with most non-government plaintiffs in March, agreeing to pay an estimated $8.5 billion.

The case is In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL-2179, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans). The criminal case is U.S. v. Transocean Deepwater Inc., 13-cr-001, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.