Transocean to pay $1.4 billion for role in BP oil spill
Transocean, which employed nine of the 11 workers killed in the accident, had set aside $1.5 billion for the US Department of Justice out of a $1.95 billion Macondo loss provision. The settlement, unveiled on Thursday by the DoJ, includes $1 billion in civil penalties and $400 million in criminal penalties. Still looming is a settlement with the plaintiffs committee that represents more than 100,000 individuals and business owners claiming economic and medical damages. So the ultimate cost of Macondo to Transocean could end up being more than $4 billion, UBS analyst Angie Sedita said. Last year, BP reached a $7.8 billion plaintiffs liability settlement. The shares of Switzerland-based Transocean rose 6.4 percent to close at $49.21 in New York on the lower-than-expected DoJ payout, with Barclays having expected a settlement of $2.5 billion. The cost of insuring Transocean debt fell sharply. "The bottom line to me is they now can put away the big black cloud that has been hanging over them," said Phil Weiss, an oil analyst at Argus Research.
BP and its contractors have sought to push blame on to each other since the 2010 well explosion caused the largest-ever U.S. offshore oil spill. Lawyers and analysts see the federal settlements with BP, and now Transocean, as a solid legal framework
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