U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo has said she either will accept Transocean's guilty plea and impose the agreed-upon sentence or reject it and allow the Swiss-based drilling company to withdraw from the deal. She can't order changes to terms of the settlement.
Transocean agreed last month to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of violating the Clean Water Act. In addition to the $400 million in criminal penalties, the company also agreed to pay $1 billion in civil penalties. A different judge will decide whether to accept that part of the settlement.