Transocean Deepwater Inc., an oil drilling company, formally pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge and will pay $400 million in criminal penalties, the latest action in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo in New Orleans accepted the guilty plea to violating the Clean Water Act and imposed sentence. Transocean agreed last month to plead guilty to the charge and to pay $1 billion in civil penalties along with the criminal penalty. Another judge will decide whether to accept the civil penalty portion.
The $1.4 billion represents the second-largest recovery in an environmental case, after the $4 billion criminal sentence imposed on BP Exploration and Production in the same oil spill, the Justice Department said.
Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on April 20, 2010, and sank over BP's Macondo well. Eleven workers were killed.
The explosion led to the nation's worst environmental disaster.