Transocean reaches $212M settlement over Deepwater Horizon oil spill

By Danielle Haynes  |  May 20, 2015 at 6:57 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, May 20 (UPI) -- Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in 2010, dumping some 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, agreed to a $212 million settlement.

The Switzerland-based company said it reached settlements with two classes of plaintiffs -- one comprised of private plaintiffs and local governments, and another including BP.

"The Macondo Well incident resulted from a complex series of causes and events," a statement from Transocean said. "These included mistakes made by multiple parties, including Transocean, from which the entire industry can learn and continue to improve safety in the drilling industry. These important agreements, which Transocean believes to be in the best interest of its shareholders and employees, remove substantially all of the remaining uncertainty associated with the incident."

"These settlements provide substantial closure to five years of litigation and we are confident that this agreement can be a significant step forward in our efforts to renew our partnership with BP," said Jeremy Thigpen, president and CEO of Transocean. "Most importantly, while the litigation is finally coming to an end, it is important that we, as an industry, continue to remember the eleven men who lost their lives in this tragedy, and keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers."

The explosion killed 11 rig workers and injured 17 others, and is likely to have a lasting environmental effect for years to come. Florida State University Professor Jeff Chanton said earlier this year that up to 10 million gallons of crude oil from the spill remains buried under sediment in the gulf.

"This is going to affect the Gulf for years to come," he said. "Fish will likely ingest contaminants because worms ingest the sediment, and fish eat the worms. It's a conduit for contamination into the food web."

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