Transocean to buy stake in deep sea mineral explorer, in support of energy transition

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Transocean said that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has agreed to invest in Global Sea Mineral Resources NV (“GSR”) in exchange for a non-controlling interest in the company.

GSR is the deep-sea mineral exploratory division of DEME Group NV and is engaged in the development and exploration of deep-sea polymetallic nodules that contain metals critical to the growing renewable energy market, and is a developer of nodule collection technology.

Transocean has agreed to contribute the stacked Ocean Rig Olympia for GSR’s ongoing exploration work, as well as make a nominal cash investment. In addition, Transocean expects to contribute engineering services on an in-kind basis. GSR intends to convert the Olympia for a system integration test scheduled for 2025 to validate the technical and environmental feasibility of recovering polymetallic nodules in ultra-deepwater on a commercial scale.

Transocean said the technical challenges associated with the recovery of deep-sea polymetallic nodules offer an opportunity to combine its unique ultra-deepwater operating experience with GSR’s proprietary technology in polymetallic nodule collection to deliver a commercially viable nodule recovery enterprise for GSR.

“Critical minerals found in deep-sea polymetallic nodules such as cobalt, nickel, copper, manganese, and rare earth metals are essential for many applications, including the production of high-capacity batteries,” Transocean said. “Many governments and private enterprises are actively developing critical mineral strategies to address the expectation that these metals will be undersupplied for years to come. Responsible recovery of the nodules from the seabed would provide a new and significant source of supply required to support rapidly growing demand.”

Transocean’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Thigpen said GSR has an excellent leasehold position, which Transocean is eager to contribute to, in the effort to meet global demand for the critical minerals necessary for a lower carbon energy economy.

As a leading international provider of drilling services for offshore oil and gas wells, Transocean specialises in technically demanding sectors of the global business with a particular focus on deepwater and harsh environment drilling services.

The Transocean drillship, Deepwater Champion, famously struck oil at the Liza field in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana in 2015. It was the first commercial discovery of oil offshore Guyana. The well is currently producing.

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