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Transocean sees $270m profit from BP oil rig blast insurance payments

TRANSOCEAN, owners of the oil rig that exploded and subsequently sunk into the Gulf of Mexico, has made a $270m (£182m) profit from insurance payouts connected with the catastrophe.

The group’s “accounting gain” comes after Transocean, which has already received a cash payment of $401m, took out a $560m insurance policy on its Deepwater Horizon rig, more than covering the value of the rig itself.

It is believed that Transocean’s insurance policy will more than cover the $200m it is expecting to pay out to the families of survivors of the blast and for higher insurance costs.

The news means that the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor could come under increased fire over the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe when chief executive Steve Newman faces Congress this week.

The group has escaped the task of cleaning-up the water after fingers pointed towards BP, which leased the contract out to Transocean, to absorb the mammoth costs.

Transocean said that BP had to take “full responsibility for and defend, release and indemnify us from any loss, expense, claim, fine, penalty or liability for pollution or contamination”.

During the first quarter of the year, Transocean saw revenues of $2bn, marking a drop from the same period last year when group revenue was $3bn.

It said results were heavily impacted by a $264m tax payment, including $221m of impairment costs on rigs for sale.