NEW ORLEANS - The company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico has reached a tentative agreement with the Department of Justice.
Under the agreement, Transocean would pay $400 million for criminal charges related to Clean Water Act violations and the death of 11 workers aboard the rig at the time of the explosion in April 2010. An additional $1 billion in civil penalties will go mainly towards environmental restoration and economic projects for the areas affected by the spill.
If the settlement stands Transocean will have two years to pay.
Separate civil law actions are still currently pending against the company from Gulf Coast businesses and residents who claim economic damages arising from the incident.
The settlement will have to receive approval from U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Louisiana Judge Carl Barbier before it is finalized.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history and resulted in over five million barrels of oil gushing out of the broken well over nearly three months.
The agreement comes only weeks after British Petroleum, who leased the rig from Transocean, came to a $7.8 billion settlement for its role in the incident.