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Transocean Ltd.  (RIG)
Other Ticker:  
    Sector  Energy    Industry Oil And Gas Production
   Industry Oil And Gas Production
   Sector  Energy

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  Transocean Ltd.'s

Business Segments Description

Drilling Fleet

We principally operate three types of drilling rigs:


semisubmersibles; and


Also included in our fleet are barge drilling rigs, tenders, a mobile offshore production unit and a platform drilling rig.

Most of our drilling equipment is suitable for both exploration and development drilling, and we normally engage in both types of drilling activity. Likewise, most of our drilling rigs are mobile and can be moved to new locations in response to client demand. All of our mobile offshore drilling units are designed for operations away from port for extended periods of time and most have living quarters for the crews, a helicopter landing deck and storage space for pipe and drilling supplies.

As of March 2, 2006, our fleet of 89 rigs, which excludes assets held for sale, included:

32 High-Specification Floaters, which are comprised of:


13 Fifth-Generation Deepwater Floaters;


15 Other Deepwater Floaters; and


four Other High-Specification Floaters;

23 Other Floaters;

25 Jackups; and

9 Other Rigs, which are comprised of:


three barge drilling rigs;


four tenders;


one mobile offshore production unit; and


one coring drillship.

We periodically review the use of the term “deepwater” in connection with our fleet. The term as used in the drilling industry to denote a particular sector of the market varies somewhat and continues to evolve with technological improvements. We generally view the deepwater market sector as that which begins in water depths of approximately 4,500 feet.

We categorize our fleet as follows: (I) “High-Specification Floaters,” consisting of our “Fifth-Generation Deepwater Floaters,” “Other Deepwater Floaters” and “Other High-Specification Floaters,” (II) “Other Floaters,” (III) “Jackups” and (IV) “Other Rigs.” Within our High-Specification Floaters category, we consider our Fifth-Generation Deepwater Floaters to be the semisubmersibles Deepwater Horizon, Cajun Express, Deepwater Nautilus, Sedco Energy and Sedco Express and the drillships Deepwater Discovery, Deepwater Expedition, Deepwater Frontier, Deepwater Millennium, Deepwater Pathfinder, Discoverer Deep Seas, Discoverer Enterprise and Discoverer Spirit. These rigs were built in the construction cycle that occurred from approximately 1996 to 2001 and have high-pressure mud pumps and a water depth capability of 7,500 feet or greater. The Other Deepwater Floaters are generally those other semisubmersible rigs and drillships that have a water depth capacity of at least 4,500 feet. The Other High-Specification Floaters, built as fourth-generation rigs in the mid to late 1980’s, are capable of drilling in harsh environments and have greater displacement than previously constructed rigs resulting in larger variable load capacity, more useable deck space and better motion characteristics. The Other Floaters category is generally comprised of those non-high-specification floaters with a water depth capacity of less than 4,500 feet. The Jackups category consists of our jackup fleet, and the Other Rigs category consists of other rigs that are of a different type or use. These categories reflect how we view, and how we believe our investors and the industry generally view, our fleet, and reflect our strategic focus on the ownership and operation of premium high-specification floating rigs and jackups.

Drillships are generally self-propelled, shaped like conventional ships and are the most mobile of the major rig types. All of our drillships are dynamically positioned, which allows them to maintain position without anchors through the use of their onboard propulsion and station-keeping systems. Some of our drillships can also be operated in a moored configuration. Drillships typically have greater load capacity than early generation semisubmersible rigs. This enables them to carry more supplies on board, which often makes them better suited for drilling in remote locations where resupply is more difficult. However, drillships are typically limited to calmer water conditions than those in which semisubmersibles can operate. Our three Enterprise-class drillships include our patented dual-activity  technology. Dual-activity technology includes structures and techniques for using two drilling stations within a single derrick to perform drilling tasks. Dual-activity technology allows our rigs to perform simultaneous drilling tasks in a parallel rather than sequential manner. Dual-activity technology reduces critical path activity and improves efficiency in both exploration and development drilling.

Semisubmersibles are floating vessels that can be submerged by means of a water ballast system such that the lower hulls are below the water surface during drilling operations. These rigs are capable of maintaining their position over the well through the use of an anchoring system or a computer controlled dynamic positioning thruster system. Some semisubmersible rigs are self-propelled and move between locations under their own power when afloat on pontoons although most are relocated with the assistance of tugs. Typically, semisubmersibles are better suited for operations in rougher water conditions than drillships. Our three Express-class semisubmersibles are designed for mild environments and are equipped with the unique tri-act derrick, which was designed to reduce overall well construction costs and effectively integrate new technology.

Jackup rigs are mobile self-elevating drilling platforms equipped with legs that can be lowered to the ocean floor until a foundation is established to support the drilling platform. Once a foundation is established, the drilling platform is then jacked further up the legs so that the platform is above the highest expected waves. These rigs are generally suited for water depths of 300 feet or less.


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