Transocean's $1.4B oil spill deal will help Gulf

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Photo -   FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file aerial photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. The Justice Department has reached a $1.4 billion settlement with Transocean Ltd., the owner of the drilling rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the massive 2010 oil spill in the gulf. On Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, two people with knowledge of the negotiations say Switzerland-based Transocean would pay the money to resolve the department's civil and criminal probe of the company's role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file aerial photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico. The Justice Department has reached a $1.4 billion settlement with Transocean Ltd., the owner of the drilling rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the massive 2010 oil spill in the gulf. On Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, two people with knowledge of the negotiations say Switzerland-based Transocean would pay the money to resolve the department's civil and criminal probe of the company's role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A $1.4 billion settlement between the Justice Department and Deepwater Horizon rig owner Transocean Ltd. will pump hundreds of millions of dollars into projects designed to help the Gulf Coast recover from the nation's largest offshore oil spill.

U.S. Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana said the settlement announced Thursday will dedicate $800 million of the civil penalty and $300 million of criminal penalty to coastal protection and restoration work. Other settlement funds will support spill-prevention research and training.

U.S. Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana said he hopes it leads to "much bigger final action with BP, the main culprit in this horrible disaster."

BP PLC leased the rig from Transocean. It already has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to criminal charges.

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