Transocean Found Guilty of Clean Water Act Violation, Will Pay $400M

"Transocean Deepwater Inc. was found guilty by a federal judge Thursday of violating the federal Clean Water Act, based on the company's role in causing the uncontrolled release of 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's Macondo well after Transocean's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank in April 2010."

"The company will be required to pay $400 million to settle the criminal charges, the second highest criminal payment in U.S. history, with only BP's $4 billion criminal payment, approved by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Jan. 29, being larger. The company also will serve a five-year term of probation, the maximum permitted by law, for its role in causing the explosion and fire that killed nine Transocean and two BP employees, caused the Deepwater Horizon to sink, and resulted in the uncontrolled flow of oil and natural gas from the Macondo well for almost 90 days.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo accepted the company's plea and imposed the sentence after Transocean attorney Brad Brian confirmed the factual allegations included in the plea agreement. Brian said the company would make no comment in court beyond what its attorneys included in a joint memorandum with the Justice Department filed with Milazzo last week. "

Mark Schleifstein reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune February 14, 2013.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 02/15/2013