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Transocean Says It Doesn’t Owe Fines for Below-Surface Spill [USA]

Transocean...said it can’t be forced to pay federal fines or penalties for oil spilled below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico in the Deepwater Horizon incident because of an indemnity contract with BP...Transocean asked a federal judge in New Orleans to find that the indemnity provision in the drilling contract requires BP to pay virtually all damages and cleanup costs. BP has argued that Transocean’s conduct voided the agreement. The indemnity provision doesn’t cover liabilities that resulted from willful misconduct, the U.S. Justice Department said...asking the court to delay ruling on the indemnity provision. Transocean isn’t asking to be held harmless for such misconduct, the company said in a court filing today...“The drilling contract does not provide for indemnity in the event of intentional or willful misconduct in excess of gross negligence,” Transocean’s lawyers said. The company’s claim for indemnity for Clean Water Act fines “arises only if Transocean is held liable” for “underwater discharge from the well,” the company said.

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