Transocean Offshore, Inc. and Schlumberger Limited announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which the offshore contract drilling business of Schlumberger, Sedco Forex Offshore, will be spun off and promptly combined with Transocean Offshore in a merger of equals. The resulting company, Transocean Sedco Forex, will be the world’s largest offshore drilling company and is projected to become the fourth largest oilfield service company in terms of market capitalization. The transaction is expected to close by December 31, 1999.
The merger of Transocean Offshore and Sedco Forex Offshore will bring together two of the most modern and versatile fleets in the offshore drilling industry and create a truly global offshore drilling company. The company will have operations in all of the world’s major offshore drilling regions including the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Brazil. Transocean Sedco Forex will have the world’s largest offshore rig fleet with 75 units. The combined fleet will have 47 semisubmersibles, 7 deepwater drillships, 17 jackups and 4 tenders. Currently, there are 7 rigs under construction, 3 semisubmersibles, 3 drillships and 1 jackup. The combined worldwide workforce will consist of approximately 7500 people.