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Offshore drilling giant Transocean Ltd. (RIG - Analyst Report) has delivered its deep water floater Transocean Marianas to HRT Participações em Petróleo S.A. – an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. HRT has taken possession of the rig offshore Ghana last week.

Transocean Marianas – a semi-submersible drilling unit of Earl & Wright Sedco 700 Series is able to operate up to a maximum water depth of 5,300 feet and can drill up to a maximum depth of 30,000 feet.

The rig will move from Ghana to Namibia over the next three weeks and will start its drilling operations in Namibia’s Walvis and Orange sedimentary basin under the contract from HRT. Before the start of its drilling operations, the rig will undergo its maintenance for 21 days.

Marianas will start drilling the first well in the Wingat Prospect in Namibia’s Walvis basin by the end of the first quarter of this year under HRT’s Petroleum Exploration License-23 (Pel-23). Wingat lies at a water depth of around 1000 meters, where the operation is expected to last for 60 days.

In August last year, Transocean Ltd.'s midwater floater Sedco 714 got a one-year contract extension from oil and gas major Total SA (TOT - Analyst Report).

Switzerland-based Transocean Ltd. is the leading offshore drilling contractor and provider of drilling management services worldwide. Its current contract drilling fleet comprises 82 mobile offshore drilling facilities, which again include 48 high-specification deepwater floaters, 25 mid-water floaters and 9 high-specification jackups. The company currently has six ultra deepwater drillships and three high-specification jackups under construction.

Transocean Ltd. currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.  

With less oil being discovered on land and with other drilling companies having to dig even deeper to get to their reserves, Transocean Ltd. is poised to benefit from a market with robust multi-year demand trends, given its technologically advanced and versatile drilling fleet. The company boasts state-of-the-art mobile offshore drilling fleet that can function in most challenging environments across the globe. It is the industry leader in this field.

Other firms of the oil and gas sector, which are expected to significantly outperform the equity markets in the next one to three months are Seadrill Partners LLC (SDLP - Snapshot Report) and Atlas Energy, L.P (ATLS - Snapshot Report), both of which are maintaining Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  
 

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