Offshore Driller Transocean Buys Stake in Seabed Minerals Exploration Firm

For illustration - A Transocean drillship - Credit: Ana/AdobeStock
For illustration - A Transocean drillship - Credit: Ana/AdobeStock

Transocean, known for its offshore oil and gas drilling rigs services, said Tuesday it had acquired a minority interest in Ocean Minerals Ltd., a company engaged in the exploration of seabed resources containing metals critical to the growing renewable energy market.

Ocean Minerals, through its affiliate, Moana Minerals Limited, was awarded a license by the Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority last month for exploration of polymetallic nodules within the application area located in the Cook Islands exclusive economic zone. 

"Critical minerals, such as cobalt, nickel, copper, manganese, and rare earth metals found in the nodules are essential for the production of high-capacity batteries. Transocean is working with Ocean Minerals on the technology and services that will be required to collect nodules from the seabed upon receipt of a production license," Transocean, which operates a fleet of 37 mobile offshore drilling units, said.

The Cook Islands is one of several offshore locations worldwide with large, accessible deposits of nodules containing a high concentrations of these critical minerals. Transocean said responsible recovery of the nodules would provide the additional supply required to support growing demand.

Transocean CEO Jeremy Thigpen said: "The technical challenges associated with the efficient recovery of deepsea polymetallic nodules represent an opportunity for Transocean to leverage our unique offshore expertise in support of the rapidly emerging energy storage market.

“We are excited to work alongside Ocean Minerals to help support efforts to achieve a lower carbon energy economy and meet the growing global demand for critical minerals. A mixture of all energy sources will be required to meet future global energy demands, and our work with Ocean Minerals is another way for Transocean to continue to provide essential offshore energy services.”

In addition to its investment in Ocean Minerals, Transocean has recently said its plan is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 40% by 2030. The company has also recently announced it will be using one of its rigs to drill one well and a sidetrack for the Northern Lights Carbon Transport and Storage Project.

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