Transocean Ltd. history, profile and corporate video

     Transocean Ltd. provides offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. The company operates through two operating segments: Contract Drilling Services and Drilling Management Services. The Contract Drilling Services segment comprises mobile offshore drilling fleet, related equipment and work crews primarily on a day rate basis to drill oil and gas wells. It specializes in technically demanding regions of the offshore drilling business with a particular focus on deepwater and harsh environment drilling services. The segment consists of floaters, jack-ups and other rigs used in support of offshore drilling activities and offshore support services on a worldwide basis. The Drilling Management Services segment provides oil and gas drilling management services, as well as drilling engineering and drilling project management services. Transocean was founded in 1954 and is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.

    “Transocean History

    Early years and evolution : 1953 – 2008

    Transocean traces its roots back to 1953, when the Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern Natural Gas Company, later Sonat, createdThe Offshore Company after acquiring the joint drilling operation DeLong-McDermott from DeLong Engineering and J. Ray McDermott. In 1954 the company launched the first Jackup rig in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1967, the company went public. In 1978, SNG turned it into a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1982, it was changed to Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc., reflecting a change in its parent’s name. In 1993, Sonat spun it off.

    In 1996, the company acquired Norwegian group Transocean ASA for US$1.5 billion. Transocean started in the 1970s as a whaling company and expanded through a series of mergers. The new company was called Transocean Offshore. The new company began building massive drilling operations with drills capable of going to 10,000 feet (as opposed to 3,000 feet at the time) and operating two drill operations on the same ship. Its first ship, Discoverer Enterprise, cost nearly US$430 million and was 834 ft (254 m).The Enterprise class drillship is the largest of the drilling ships.

    In 1999, Schlumberger proposed a merger of equals with Schlumberger’s offshore subsidiary Sedco Forex. The deal was valued at US$3.2 billion. The new company was renamedTransocean Sedco Forex. (The name was simplified to Transocean in 2003.) Sedco Forex had been formed from a merger of two drilling companies, the Southeastern Drilling Company (Sedco), founded in 1947 by Bill Clements and acquired by Schlumberger in 1985 for $1 billion, and French drilling company Forages et Exploitations Pétrolières (Forex) founded in 1942 in German occupied France for drilling in North Africa. Schlumberger first got a foothold in the company in 1959 and then assumed total control in 1964, and renamed it Forex Neptune Drilling Company. The spun-off Houston-based Transocean was part of the S&P 500.

    In 2000, Transocean acquired R&B Falcon in a deal valued at $17.7 billion. With the acquisition, Transocean gained control of what at the time was the world’s largest offshore operation. Among R&B Falcon’s assets was the Deepwater Horizon. R&B Falcon was formed in 1997 from the merger of Reading and Bates Exploration, which had been founded by John Wesley Bates and George Reading in 1946 and headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Falcon Drilling, which had been founded in 1988 by Steven A. Webster with a $300,000 investment and headquartered in Houston.

    In 2005, Discoverer Spirit set a world record for the deepest offshore oil and gas well of 34,189 ft (10,421 m).

    In 2007, the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a case against Transocean, alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The case alleged that Transocean paid bribes through its freight forwarding agents to Nigerian customs officials. Transocean later admitted to approving the bribes and agreed to pay USD $13,440,000 to settle the matter.

    On 23 July 2007, Transocean announced a merger with GlobalSantaFe Corporation for US$17 billion. The merger was completed on 27 November 2007. At the time, the two companies were the world’s two largest offshore rig operators. As part of the move, Robert E. Rose, who was non-executive chairman of GlobalSantaFe, was made Transocean’s chairman. Rose had been chairman of Global Marine prior to its 2001 merger with Santa Fe International Corporation.

    Transition to a Swiss holding co. and expansion  : 2008 – till date

    In 2008, Transocean was replaced on the S&P by Equitable Resources after the company announced plans to move its headquarters to Switzerland, making it ineligible to be in the S&P index. In October 2008, the company board approved the move to Switzerland. On 9 December 2008, the shareholders approved the move to Switzerland. On 19 December 2008, the company completed the process of changing its place of incorporation from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. Transocean’s top management was scheduled to move to Switzerland from Houston. 

    In September 2009, its Deepwater Horizon rig established a 35,050 ft (10,680 m) well, the deepest well in history – more than 5,000 feet deeper than its stated design specification.

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    Over the years, Transocean has moved its incorporation location to take advantage of lower taxes in some jurisdictions. Transocean was originally incorporated in the US state ofDelaware, but moved its corporate registration to the Cayman Islands in 1999. In 2008, it moved its registration to the canton of Zug, Switzerland, where it is currently incorporated. Only 12 of its employees work in the Zug office, according to a company spokesperson. The registration move allowed Transocean to lower its corporate income tax rate from 35 percent in the US to 16 percent in Zug.

    August 2011: Transocean Announces $2.23 Billion Takeover Of Aker Drilling, 15 August 2011. Aiming to supplement its drilling fleet in the harsh arctic environment, US drilling giant Transocean Ltd (RIG) plans to acquire Norwegian drilling rig operator Aker Drilling ASA (AKD.OS) at a 62% premium to current valuation in a deal valued at $2.23 billion. Under the transaction, Transocean, which owned the rig at the center of 2010’s catastrophic US Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has made a voluntary NOK26.50 ($4.83) per share cash offer for all outstanding shares in the company.”

    *Information from and

    **Video published on YouTube by “TransoceanLtdRIG



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