Judge approves $1B civil settlement for Transocean

A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a $1 billion civil settlement between the U.S. government and Swiss drilling contractor Transocean over liability related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

The partial consent decree was signed by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Tuesday.  Transocean remains subject to potential natural resources damages if they apply.

“The court finds that there is no just reason for delay and therefore the court enters this consent decree as a final judgment,” Barbier wrote.

Barbier will preside over a civil trial that begins Monday that involves a web of remaining litigation over claims and damages related to the catastrophe.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf off Louisiana after an undersea well owned by British oil giant BP blew out. Eleven workers were killed. The resulting oil spill was the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

Last week, Transocean pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal charge of violating the Clean Water Act stemming from the discharge of oil and was ordered to pay a $400 million criminal penalty that it negotiated with the Justice Department.