US to get $1.4 bn over Gulf of Mexico disaster

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 13:40 hrs

Washington, Jan 4 (IANS) Swiss-based Transocean, which owned a rig that blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, has agreed to pay the US $1.4 billion over the environmental disaster, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that suffered an explosion at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

The company's US subsidiary, Transocean Deepwater, agreed to pay the fines after pleading guilty to "one misdemeanour violation of the Clean Water Act for negligent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico", said a statement on the company website.

The $1.4 billion "in fines, recoveries and penalties" will be paid over a five-year period.

In November 2012, British oil and gas giant BP, which leased the rig, agreed on a $4.5 billion settlement with the US authorities, also to be paid over a five-year period.

Commenting on the news, BP issued a statement welcoming the settlement.

"Halliburton continues to deny its significant role in the accident," BP said.

Analysts have highlighted the fact that Halliburton remains the only contractor involved not to have reached a settlement with US authorities over the Macondo well incident.

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig caused the largest environmental disaster in US history. It took four months to plug the leak, during which time about five million barrels of crude oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people died in the incident.

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