Transocean Preps Up for Big Business in the GOM
Just recently, the New Orleans judiciary approved Transocean’s settlement of up to $400 million worth of penalties as the latter pleaded guilty of breaching the U.S. Clean Water Act. Recall that Transocean is the owner of the oil exploration rig that exploded April 2010 within the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – a catastrophic event more popularly known as the BP Oil Spill.
Some say that Transocean is shouldering such a huge penalty, but it signals the end of a gruelling trial giving management a much needed respite. It can now recharge, move forward, and take advantage of opportunities that could bring in more earnings for the company.
One such opportunity is the auctioning off of new U.S. drilling sites in the GOM region. The national government foresees that these oil sites could hold some four trillion cft of gas and about 1 bn barrels of crude. This is positive news for Transocean, which operates about half of the total oil rigs present in the GOM. The company reportedly charges drill ship lease rates of about half a million dollars.
Indeed, Transocean is seen to be back on its toes, growing and developing its business now that its legal problems regarding its involvement in the BP oil disaster are slowly becoming a thing of the past. At present, it is building a mega-deepwater vessel, a clear indication that the company is preparing for the potential demand for more drill ships in the region. Also, deepwater drillings are almost up to capacity, prompting Transocean clients to go for long-term oil rig construction contracts.
Apart from region where the GOM lies, other areas that are now teeming with oil exploration and drilling activities include Brazil, as well as the coastal regions of Africa. As one of the largest offshore drilling contractors in the world, Transocean foresees that business is going to be very brisk, assuming, of course, that the Brent crude oil price per barrel doesn’t fall below $100 pb.