Published: Dec 17, 2010 6:57 PM EST
Updated: Dec 17, 2010 3:57 PM EST

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has ordered Transocean Ltd. to turn over a batch of safety records to a government panel probing the deadly rig explosion that spawned the massive Gulf oil spill.

The company that owned the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig had balked at providing safety records for its other rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to the panel of Coast Guard and industry regulators.

Transocean argued that the records aren't relevant to the panel's investigation, but U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Friday that the government is entitled to the documents.

A government attorney told Barbier that the records could show whether the April 20 rig explosion resulted from a systemic problem with Transocean's rigs.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)