Transocean: Agreement Reached on Deepwater Horizon Claims

Press Release
Thursday, January 03, 2013

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) (SIX: RIGN) announced that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve certain outstanding civil and potential criminal claims against the company arising from the April 20, 2010, accident involving the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.


As part of this resolution, a Transocean subsidiary has agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for negligent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and pay $1.4 billion in fines, recoveries and penalties, excluding interest.  This resolution will result in the Department of Justice concluding its criminal investigation of Transocean and settling its claims for civil penalties against the company relating to the spill from BP's Macondo well.  The company intends to satisfy its payment obligations over a period of five years, using cash on hand and cash flow from operations.  At September 30, 2012, Transocean had accrued an estimated loss contingency of $1.5 billion associated with claims made by the Department of Justice.

Terms of the Agreement

A Transocean subsidiary has agreed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor violation of the CWA for negligent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  This violation pertains to well monitoring in connection with specific operations during the temporary abandonment procedure on April 20, 2010.  Pursuant to the agreement, Transocean will pay a fine in the amount of $100 million within 60 days of this agreement receiving U.S. federal court approval.  The Transocean subsidiary will also be subject to a statutory-maximum term of five years of probation.

Additionally, Transocean will pay $150 million to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) over a five-year period, and $150 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) over a three-year period.  The funds paid to the NAS will be for the purposes of oil spill prevention and response in the Gulf of Mexico; funds paid to the NFWF will be directed to natural resource restoration projects and coastal habitat restoration, including restoration of the barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana and diversion projects on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers.

To address the government's pending civil claims, Transocean has agreed to pay $1 billion in CWA civil penalties over a period of three years.  Additionally, the company has agreed to implement certain measures to prevent a recurrence of an uncontrolled discharge of hydrocarbons.  Transocean has agreed to consult with the United States in preparing a performance plan for these improvement measures, which must be submitted for the government's approval within 120 days of this agreement taking effect.

Any potential claims associated with the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process are excluded from the agreement with the Department of Justice. However, the district court previously held that Transocean is not liable under the Oil Pollution Act for damages caused by subsurface discharge from the Macondo well.  Assuming that this ruling is upheld on appeal, Transocean's NRDA liability would be limited to any such damages arising from the above-surface discharge. 

The Department of Justice has agreed that it will not pursue further prosecution of Transocean Ltd. and certain of its subsidiaries for any conduct regarding any matters under investigation by the Deepwater Horizon Task Force relating to or arising out of the Macondo well blowout, explosion, spill or response.  Transocean has agreed to continue to operate with the Deepwater Horizon Task Force in any ongoing investigation related to or arising from the accident.  The civil and criminal agreements are subject to court approval and, in the case of the civil agreement, public notice and comment.

Timing of Payments

Pursuant to the agreements, Transocean will pay fines, penalties and recoveries totaling $1.4 billion over a five-year period according to the following schedule:

2013 - payments totaling $560 million
2014 - payments totaling $460 million
2015 - payments totaling $260 million
2016 - payments totaling $60 million
2017 - payments totaling $60 million
 

In addition, civil penalties will bear interest from the date that the consent decree is lodged with the court.  Neither settlement payments nor accrued interest are deductible for tax purposes.
 


Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Norwegian Buys Ship from Princess Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces fleet expansion for Oceania Cruises in 2016; Sirena to join sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica   Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Thrustmaster Names Pineda Director of Sales and Marketing

Marcela Pineda has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing at Thrustmaster of Texas.   Pineda, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, is a

SENER Presents at SNAME Convention

SENER presents the module for the ship General Arrangement definition in FORAN SENER took part once again in the Annual Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) Convention in the U.

Legal

Will Congress Pass Any Maritime Legislation in 2014?

Following its usual summer break over August 2014, Congress came back from its five-week summer recess and spent a whopping eight days or so back in session before recessing once again,

The Legal Consequences of 46 CFR Subchapter “M”

As the holiday season and the end of another year quickly approaches, the towing industry patiently waits for the Coast Guard to finalize the long-awaited towing vessel inspection rule.

Vietnam Warship Visits Underscore Regional Tension

Vietnam on Tuesday showed off its two most powerful warships in the first-ever port call to the Philippines but an official said it was not trying to challenge

Offshore

Pile Testing for Wikinger Wind Farm Launched

In October 2014 the first phase of the pile testing campaign for the Wikinger offshore wind farm project was launched after the site’s geotechnical investigation on the Baltic Sea had been completed.

Damen, Palfinger Upgrade North Sea Jack-Up Rig

With the support of Palfinger systems JUMP technology, Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen has completed an upgrade of a Keppel Fels ‘N’ Class drilling rig, one of the largest in the North Sea,

Vietnam Warship Visits Underscore Regional Tension

Vietnam on Tuesday showed off its two most powerful warships in the first-ever port call to the Philippines but an official said it was not trying to challenge

Casualties

Avoiding the Edges of the Sea

Mariners do best when they avoid the edges of the sea – the shoals, rocks, and other hard spots.  Coming into contact with the edges of the sea at other than a

Migrant Rescue Draws Budget Concerns in the Mediterranean

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) has raised concerns about the implications for masters of the recent reports of the launch of the new EU Frontex operation

USCG & Ocean Safety Rescue Kayakers on Molokini Crater

The Coast Guard and Ocean Safety rescued two kayakers trapped on Molokini Crater Monday. Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification at 3:20 p.

News

What’s All the Noise at IMO?

Shipping may think they hear the sound of new regulations as they are slammed onto their desks.  What is all the noise concerning noise at IMO?  This may very well be the question from ship owners,

World’s Largest Containership First Tested at MARIN

MARIN was delighted to take part in a truly historic milestone in the industry when Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) asked MARIN to investigate

ICS Addresses OECD Shipbuilding Working Party

The OECD should be cautious about becoming involved in the question of what constitutes an ‘eco-ship’, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said to governments

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3720 sec (3 req/sec)