Transocean Cutting Positions, Closing Facilities in Onshore Business

Transocean Ltd. said it has started cutting positions and closing facilities tied to its onshore business, continuing the company's efforts to focus on the higher end of the offshore drilling market.

But it noted it doesn't expect the cost-cutting to materially benefit results until early next year, as costs for restructuring offset any savings.

The company last year said it would focus on building more profitable deep-water equipment after striking a $1.05 billion deal to sell 38 shallow-water-drilling rigs.

Transocean said Tuesday that the cost-cutting moves were intended to "align the company's shore-based support infrastructure with the post-divestiture size, composition and geographic location of its fleet."

Transocean was the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, the rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 people and setting off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. It agreed this year to pay $1 billion to settle claims in connection with the explosion.

The company is under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who is the company's largest shareholder and has urged it to declare a $4-a-share dividend, saying he believes its shares are undervalued.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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