Transocean to pay $212M to settle 2010 oil spill lawsuits

Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig whose explosion triggered a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, has agreed to pay nearly $212 million to settle lawsuits over its role in the incident, the company announced Wednesday. 

The payments will go to Gulf Coast businesses and individuals and local governments that claimed damages after the spill.  The company said it also resolved its lawsuits with BP, which leased the rig from Transocean.

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“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," Transocean President and CEO Jeremy Thigpen said in a statement. 

The Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20, 2010 killed 11 workers and led to an 87-day oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A federal judge ruled that BP is responsible for spilling 3.19 million barrels of oil during the incident, though some estimates have put the total as high as 5 million barrels.

Also Wednesday, BP settled its legal disputes with Halliburton, a cement contractor at the well site. Halliburton had previously agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle lawsuits against it related to the incident. 

"We are pleased to have resolved with Halliburton and Transocean the final remaining disputes stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident," BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a statement. "We have now settled all matters relating to the accident with both our partners in the well and our contractors."

"We applaud Transocean for adding to the settlement funds established in the Halliburton settlement to help compensate people and businesses for their losses,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers said in a statement, according to the Times-Picayune

— This post was updated at 7:50 p.m.