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Transocean Offshore traces its roots back to 1953 when the Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern Natural Gas Company created the 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 $1.5 billion. Transocean started in the 1970s as a whaling company and had 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.
In 1999, Schlumberger
proposed a merger of equals with Schlumberger's offshore subsidiary Sedco Forex. The deal was valued at $3.2 billion. The new company was renamed Transocean Sedco Forex. (The name was simplified to Transocean in 2003.) Sedco Forex had been formed from a merger of two drilling companies, the Southeast 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.
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 in 1970 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.
On July 23, 2007, Transocean announced a merger with GlobalSantaFe Corporation for $17 billion. The merger was completed on November 27, 2007. The two companies at the time 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 before its 2001 merger with Santa Fe International Corporation.
In September 2009, the company’s 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. On April 21, 2010, a fire broke out on the Deepwater Horizon in the US waters of Mississippi Canyon 252 in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was 41 miles off the Louisiana coast. The US Coast Guard launched a rescue operation after the explosion which killed 11 workers and critically injured seven of the 126 member crew. The Deepwater Horizon was completely destroyed, and subsequently sank. As the Deepwater Horizon sank, the riser pipe that connected the well-head to the rig was severed and as a result oil began to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. Estimates of the leak were in the range of 5,000 to 19,000 barrels per day.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency on April 29, as the oil slick grew and headed toward the most important and most sensitive wetlands in North America, threatening to destroy wildlife and the livelihood of thousands of fishermen. The head of BP Group told CNN's Brian Todd on April 28, 2010 that the accident could have been prevented, and focused blame on Transocean, which owned and partly manned the rig.
Transocean has also come under fire from lawyers representing fishing and tourist businesses hit by the spill and the Department of Justice for seeking to use an 1851 law to restrict its liability for economic damages to $26.7 million.
During Congressional testimony, Transocean and BP blamed each other for the disaster. It emerged that a "heated argument" had broken out on the platform 11 hours before the accident, in which Transocean personnel disagreed with BP personnel on an engineering decision related to the closing of the well. On May 14, 2010 U.S. President Barack Obama commented, “I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle… executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton
(the firm responsible for cementing the well) falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else. The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn't."
Transocean later claimed that 2010, the year of the disaster, was "the best year in safety performance in our company’s history". In a regulatory filing, they said that, "Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate." They used this justification to award employees about two-thirds of the maximum possible safety bonuses.LA-Louisiana Oil Companies Oil Drilling Specimen Pieces Female Subject Atom Featured