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Oil-spill execs giving up safety bonuses

SAN FRANCISCO – Executives at the offshore drilling contractor at the center of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill are donating bonuses they got for the company’s safety record last year.

The decision announced Tuesday comes just days after Transocean Ltd. disclosed the bonuses deep in a regulatory filing, triggering intense criticism.

Transocean justified the bonuses by calling 2010 an “exemplary” year for safety – despite the explosion on its rig that killed 11 people and spilled 200 million gallons of oil.

CEO Steven Newman and four other executives are now donating bonuses worth more than $250,000 to a fund set up by Transocean for the victims’ families.