Transocean: BP ruling ‘effectively eliminates’ financial risk
Switzerland-based Transocean said Friday that the Deepwater Horizon ruling against BP “effectively eliminates” its financial risk for the underwater portion of the 2010 well blowout accident.
Transocean was found to be partially culpable for the accident but not guilty of recklessness or gross negligence.
A federal judge found BP to be responsible for 67 percent of the accident and guilty of gross negligence and willful misconduct Thursday.
Transocean will not have to pay punitive damages.
Transocean was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon Rig that sank in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico after a well blowout ignited an explosion.
Eleven workers were killed in the accident.
The court also found that BP is contractually obligated to compensate Transocean for compensatory damages.
In 2013, Transocean paid $1.4 billion in civil penalties and criminal fines to settle violations of the Clean Water Act stemming from the spill.
Transocean praised Friday’s ruling for reinforcing that owners and operators of wells, not drilling contractors, are liable for spills.
“This is a favorable and welcome ruling for Transocean,” president and CEO of Transocean Steven Newman said.
The company said its remaining financial risk is for the above-surface discharge of pollutants that occurred during the first two days of the spill.
Transcoean said it believes above-surface pollution either caused no significant harm or is covered by BP’s indemnity agreement.
The amount of oil spilled will be determined in the third phase of the trial set to start in January.
Depending on the court’s findings during the third phase BP could face fines of up to $18 billion.