MEXICO, January 4 – RAPSI. Offshore oil and gas drilling company Transocean has agreed to pay the US $1.4 billion over the 2010 environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, media in Mexico reported on Thursday.

Swiss-based Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. The company’s US subsidiary, Transocean Deepwater, agreed to pay the fines after pleading guilty to “one misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act for negligent discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico,” according to a statement on the company’s website.

The $1.4 billion “in fines, recoveries and penalties” is to be paid over a 5 year period, the statement says.

In November British oil and gas giant BP, which leased the rig, agreed a $4.5 bln settlement with the US authorities, also to be paid over a five-year period.

Commenting on the news, BP issued a statement welcoming the settlement and saying that “Halliburton continues to deny its significant role in the accident.” Analysts have also highlighted the fact that Halliburton remains the only contractor involved not to have reached a settlement with US authorities over the Macondo well incident.

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig caused the largest environmental disaster in US history. It took four months to plug the leak, during which time about 5 million barrels of crude oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven people died in the incident.