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Transocean Executives Get Bonuses, Despite Massive Gulf Spill - Company Lauds 'Best Year In Safety'

Transocean Ltd, whose massive oil rig explosion last year killed 11 people and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, showered its executives with fat bonuses for the "best year in safety performance in our company's history."

In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission on Friday, the company said its top brass received about two thirds of their total possible safety bonus.
 
The filing acknowledged the "tragic loss of life" related to the disaster last April, when the offshore drilling rig the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sunk into the Gulf after a blowout, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history. 

Nevertheless, the execs were rewarded because there had been a drop in the number and severity of incidents and the execs had "significantly improved the company's safety record," the company said.  

"As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company's history, which is a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident free environment, all the time, everywhere," the company said.
 
CEO Steve Newman's bonus was a whopping $374,062 – part of a total compensation package of around $5.8 million, according to The Associated Press.

Newman also received a salary raise, to $1.1 million from $900,000.

Other executives received raises as well. 

A commission appointed by President Obama earlier this year said the disaster was caused by a handful of time and cost-cutting decisions by Transocean, BP, which leased the rig, and oil services company Halliburton that created an unacceptable amount of risk. 

The company is the target of a host of lawsuits from shareholders and federal regulators. 

In a letter to shareholders in the filing, the company said it was not liable for the disaster or the resulting environmental impact. 

BP has said that Transocean shares liability in the disaster. 

The oil company announced last month that some of its executives would not be getting 2010 bonuses because of the disaster.

With News Wire Services

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