Magistrate rules Transocean CEO doesn’t have to testify about oil spill

NEW ORLEANS — A federal magistrate has ruled that Transocean, Ltd. doesn’t have to make its CEO, Steve Newman, available to testify at a trial for tens of thousands of court claims spawned by the Gulf oil spill in 2010.

BP PLC, which leased the Transocean-owned rig that caught fire and sank after the deadly blowout of BP’s Macondo well, had argued that Newman could be compelled to testify at the trial scheduled to start Feb. 27 in New Orleans.

U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan rejected BP’s argument yesterday. Transocean had opposed BP’s request.

Newman already has been questioned under oath by attorneys for the companies that have been sued over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 workers and led to the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.

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