Transocean Announces Settlement and License Agreement with Noble for Transocean's Dual Activity Patents
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2007--Transocean Inc.(NYSE:RIG) today announced that one of its subsidiaries has enteredinto a settlement and license agreement with Noble Corporation(NYSE:NE). In the agreement, the Transocean subsidiary granted toNoble a worldwide and non-exclusive license to utilize Transocean'spatents for offshore dual activity drilling methods and structures onthe semisubmersible rig Noble Clyde Boudreaux which is currentlyworking in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The agreement follows a settlement of Transocean's February 2007patent infringement suit against Noble in the U.S. District Court ofthe Southern District of Texas, Houston division. In the lawsuit,Transocean alleged that a recent upgrade to the Noble Clyde Boudreauxinfringed claims of the Transocean patents. Transocean also allegedthat the Noble Clyde Boudreaux contract with Shell and expectedoperations in the Gulf of Mexico would infringe the patents as well.
As part of the settlement with Noble, Transocean granted Noble aworldwide and non-exclusive license for utilizing the dual activitydrilling technology on the Noble Clyde Boudreaux. Transocean agreed tolicense the rig for the life of the dual activity patents for anundisclosed royalty, but Noble may terminate the agreement after theinitial two year term of the Shell contract if Noble removes thepatented dual activity capability from the rig. The agreement does notcover additional rigs, but Noble has agreed not to challengeTransocean's dual activity patents in the future.
Transocean developed its dual activity drilling design in 1996 aspart of a project to more efficiently construct wells in deepwaterthrough the use of two complete drilling systems, allowing forparallel drilling operations to be conducted on a single well thatsaves operators both time and money, compared with conventional rigs.Transocean continues to pursue new ways of saving its customers timeand money in the drilling of deepwater exploration and developmentwells with the patented design.
Transocean has patented the structure and methods of operationsassociated with its dual activity invention in the United States (U.S.Patent Nos. 6,085,851; 6,047,781; 6,056,071; and 6,068,069) and inother parts of the world where many dual activity rigs may be built orused.
Transocean Inc. is the world's largest offshore drillingcontractor with a fleet of 82 mobile offshore drilling units. Thecompany's mobile offshore drilling fleet, consisting of a large numberof high-specification deepwater and harsh environment drilling units,is considered one of the most modern and versatile in the world due toits emphasis on technically demanding segments of the offshoredrilling business. The company's fleet consists of 33High-Specification Floaters (semisubmersibles and drillships), 20Other Floaters, 25 Jackups and other assets utilized in the support ofoffshore drilling activities worldwide. With a current equity marketcapitalization in excess of $31 billion, Transocean Inc.'s ordinaryshares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol\"RIG.\"
CONTACT: Transocean Inc., Houston
Gregory S. Panagos, 713-232-7551
Guy A. Cantwell, 713-232-7647
SOURCE: Transocean Inc.