Transocean Shares Rise – Tax Fraud Case Over

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By Jacob Maslow

Offshore deepwater driller Transocean (VTX:RIGN) saw a slight uptick in share prices yesterday after stock prices plunged 8.6% on Wednesday as the company’s board announced they will seek to suspend two dividend payments this year.

Transocean shares are currently hovering around the $10 mark, still a long way off their 2012 highs of $79.20.

With the oil industry as a whole in a financial straight-jacket, deepwater drillers are under particular strain since their costs of operation are much higher than traditional land rigs. The price of advanced offshore drillships can run as high as half a million dollars per day, posing a problem for providers of drillships such as Transocean as oil prices hit rock-bottom.

The stock price uptick came as the offshore drilling giant was cleared in an 11-year battle with Norwegian authorities over tax fraud. The Norwegian authorities formally dropped the charges yesterday, deciding not to go ahead with an appeal on the verdict which saw the company and three individuals acquitted last year.


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