May 9 Transocean Ltd, owner of the
world's largest offshore drilling fleet, said on Thursday its
capital expenditures this year would be $2.4 billion instead of
$3 billion due to the timing of payments on rigs under
More than half of the $2.4 billion was devoted to the new
rig building program, Chief Financial Officer Esa Ikaheimonen
told analysts on a conference call.
Transocean now has six ultra-deepwater rigs and two
shallow-water jackups being built in shipyards, while at the
same time the company is shrinking its existing fleet to sharpen
its focus on high-end assets.
The two new jackups will be able to operate in 350 feet of
water and drill to 35,000 feet. On the other hand, one of three
rigs Transocean sold last quarter was the Interocean III, which
was built in 1976 and had a rated water depth of about 300 feet
and a drilling depth of 20,000 feet.
The company expects to sell off its remaining four
low-specification shallow-water rigs by the end of this year.
The company has already brought its fleet size down from 136
rigs a few years ago to 83 now - leaving out the rigs held for
Shares of Transocean were down 1.2 percent at $54.58 on
Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange, after it posted
lower-than-expected profits due to an industry-wide bolt
inspection which Ikaheimonen said cost it about $63 million in