Worldwide offshore oil and gas drilling contractor GlobalSantaFe Corporation announced
that it has entered into a settlement and licensing agreement with Transocean (RIG)
that resolves a patent dispute between the two companies and provides for the unrestricted use of dual drilling capabilities on three GlobalSantaFe semisubmersible rigs.
Under the terms of the agreement, GlobalSantaFe will pay a one-time license fee of $12 million related to the construction of three GlobalSantaFe ultra-deepwater rigs equipped with patented dual drilling capabilities: the GSF Development Driller I and GSF Development Driller II, which are already working under contract in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico
, and the GSF Development Driller III, which is currently under construction and scheduled for delivery in early 2009.
GlobalSantaFe has agreed to pay approximately $3 million for royalties related to prior use of the two rigs it has operated with dual activity capabilities, as well as a 3 percent royalty on the future earned dayrates of all three of the rigs when operating in countries in which Transocean has a valid and non-expired patent. As part of the settlement, GlobalSantaFe will withdraw from the European and Brazilian patent opposition proceedings and is prohibited from becoming a party to any other proceeding or cooperating with any party seeking to invalidate Transocean's patents in any jurisdiction.