The company that owns the now-sunken drilling rig oozing oil into the Gulf of Mexico is counting on a 150-year-old maritime law to limit its damages. To a mere $26.7 million.

That’s how much Transocean Ltd. said it should pay in a motion filed on Thursday in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. Citing an 1851 law aimed at shipping mishaps, Transocean said its damages should be limited to $26.7 million in unpaid drilling fees earned before the April 20 explosion, noting the Deepwater Horizon rig is otherwise worth nothing now.

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