HOUSTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor Transocean will pay 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in civil and criminal penalties for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday.
As part of its agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, Transocean, owner of the oil rig implicated in the 2010 spill, agreed to plead guilty to violating the Clean Water Act, CNN reported.
The Justice Department on Thursday filed the agreement in a court in the state of Louisiana for approval, the report said.
In the agreement, Transocean also agreed to improve its safety procedures and emergency response at all its drilling rigs operating in U.S. waters.
The guilty plea acknowledges that the Transocean crew, under direction of BP's onsite employees, failed to investigate "clear indications" that the Macondo well was not secure.
"These important agreements, which the company believes to be in the best interest of its shareholders and employees, remove much of the uncertainty associated with the accident," Transocean said in a statement.
Much of the 1.4 billion U.S. dollars will fund environmental restoration projects and spill-prevention research and training, according to media reports.
Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and British oil giant BP was the operator of the Macondo well, which ruptured on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and unleashing the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
BP has already agreed to pay a record 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in penalties and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other criminal charges related to the oil spill.