A federal judge has approved Transocean Ltd.'s agreement with the Justice Department to pay $1 billion in civil penalties for its role in the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said in his ruling Tuesday that he found "no just reason for delay" in approving the civil settlement.
Last week, a different judge approved Transocean's criminal settlement with the federal government. The company pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and will pay an additional $400 million in criminal penalties.
BP says it has failed to reach a settlement in advance of next week's civil trial on the Deepwater Horizon accident and is ready to defend itself vigorously against allegations of gross negligence in the U.S.'s biggest environmental disaster.
Rupert Bondy, the group's general counsel, said in a statement Tuesday that settlement demands were "not based on reality or the merits of the case."
Billions are at stake in the Feb. 25 trial in New Orleans to determine BP's civil liability. BP already agreed to a $4.5 billion settlement of federal criminal charges.
BP has agreed to a $4 billion settlement of a criminal case filed by the Justice Department over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A pending civil case could cost tens of billions of dollars more in penalties.
Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:03 pm
A federal judge has approved a guilty plea by BP to manslaughter charges in connection with the 2010 Gulf oil spill.
The approved deal includes a record $4 billion in criminal penalties.
Eleven workers on the Deep Water Horizon rig died in the April 2010 explosion. BP pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges for those deaths and to lying to Congress about the amount of the oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in 2010, unleashing an unmatched oil spill from BP’s Macondo well.
About eight months later, the Justice Department filed suit to recover damages.
BP entered into a $4.5 billion settlement of criminal claims in November.
The owner of the rig, Transocean, has just agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal judge is likely to sign off on the agreement at a hearing set for Feb. 14.