Zug-registered offshore rig contractor Transocean has awarded bonuses for its "best year in safety performance" despite the explosion at its Deepwater Horizon rig.
The explosion at the rig last April killed 11 people and spilled 757 million litres of oil into the Gulf of Mexico - the worst oil spill in United States history.
The company said in a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that its most senior managers were given two thirds of their total possible safety bonus. Bonuses were appropriate as a way to recognise its executives' efforts in "significantly improving the company's safety record", it said.
Transocean noted "the tragic loss of life" in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. But it said the company still had an "exemplary" safety record because it met or exceeded certain internal safety targets concerning the frequency and severity of its accidents, according to the filing.
Safety accounts for a quarter of the executives' total cash bonuses. The total bonus for CEO Steve Newman last year was $374,062 (SFr345,670).
In February, Transocean, the world’s largest offshore rig contractor, reported a net loss of $799 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.
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