TEXT - S&P comments on Transocean after DOJ settlement
Jan 8 - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings and outlook on Transocean Inc. (BBB-/Negative/--) are unchanged following the company's agreement with the Department of Justice regarding the Macondo oil well disaster. We view the settlement, under which Transocean agrees to pay $1.4 billion over five years, as manageable given the company's sizable liquidity position and as a meaningful step toward resolving its exposure to the accident and oil spill. While the agreement reduces the likelihood that we will lower our ratings on Transocean, the company still faces other potential liability, including state and local claims, related to the spill and its credit ratios, though improving, remain weak for the rating. Our analysis indicates that Transocean's financial profile can absorb a maximum of approximately $4 million of total costs related to Macondo at the current rating.
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