Transocean Talking Settlement with US, as BP Sells Oil Fields Fearing Fines over Gulf Spill

Deepwater Horizon Response/CC BY-ND 2.0

Two updates on the state of legal proceedings against BP and Transocean over the Gulf oil spill:

Reuters reports that Transocean is discussing a $1.5 billion settlement with the US Justice Department. The money would resolve both civil and criminal claims against the company.

No agreement has yet been reached, with the reported outstanding issues being the exact wording of the plea, how long Transocean will have to pay the money, and whether it would included damages under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.

Meanwhile, BP is selling off $5.6 billion worth of oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to build cash reserves, The Guardian reports. By the end of 2013 BP hopes to raise $38 billion through selling assets.

BP faces fines in the $4.5-17.63 billion range, the higher figures coming into play in if the US government can prove its case that BP exhibited "gross negligence" or acted with "willful misconduct" in its handling of the spill.

Tags: Gulf Oil Spill | Oil