Transocean reaches $211M settlement in Gulf oil spill

NEW ORLEANS - Lawyers representing businesses and individuals claiming damages from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill have announced a $211 million settlement with Transocean (RIG), owner of the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

BP (BP) leased the rig from Transocean. The April 2010 explosion of the rig killed 11 workers and sent oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days.

Court rulings have put the brunt of responsibility for the disaster on BP. But Transocean and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton (HAL) also were found to have some responsibility.

Halliburton reached a $1 billion settlement with plaintiffs last year.

Determining the ultimate costs of environmental restoration is an ongoing process that will play out it in coming years, but the tally has already run into the billions of dollars.

BP alone has been assessed $2.84 billion in civil penalties for Gulf restoration, voluntarily put $1 billion to early restoration and could end up with a record $13.7 billion Clean Water Act penalty -- about $4,300 for every barrel spilled. BP also potentially faces additional costs under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment, a process in which federal, state and tribal authorities are calculating the spill's damage and the type and amount of restoration required.