Transocean Awards Aker Kvaerner Contract to Develop Key Drilling Technology

Transocean Inc. has entered into an agreement with the Aker Kvaerner company, Aker Kvaerner MH, for delivery of a prototype of the next-generation "Derrick Drilling Machine". For proprietary reasons, specifications and cost estimates will not be disclosed at this time.

The Derrick Drilling Machines are designed to define a new standard in drilling efficiency and reliability. The equipment will be based on modularization, novel design principles and designed to meet the deepwater drilling requirements foreseen for decades, such as constructing offshore wells of up to 50,000 feet in total depth.

Transocean and Aker Kvaerner MH have signed a contract to deliver in Q1/07 a 1250t Derrick Drilling Machine prototype for field test on one of Transocean's drilling rigs. Provided that the field test is successful, Transocean has the option to incorporate the new drilling machine on a number of its high-specification drilling rigs.

Aker Kvaerner MH will work closely together with Transocean to develop this new technology, which is considered a key element in both companies' strategies to maximise safety, drilling efficiency and operational uptime.

"This award is yet another acknowledgement of our capabilities and technology and represents a significant breakthrough in the deepwater offshore drilling market. Transocean is the world's largest and one of the most demanding and quality conscious drilling contractors. This contract represents an important basis for further development of Aker Kvaerner MH in general, and our US based operations in particular", says Roald Amundsen, President of Aker Kvaerner MH.

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