Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) is likely going to be in the local nightly news reports all throughout the states in the Gulf of Mexico, whether it is justified or not. The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a “Notice of Federal Interest” to Transocean Holdings LLC after “a series of sheen sightings in the area of Mississippi Canyon block 252 indicate the possibility of a release from the riser pipe or other debris on the ocean floor from the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon incident.”
This is going to bring up thoughts of the unthinkable for some Gulf Coast residents. News reports may warn that the plugged hole in the Gulf of Mexico is opening back up or leaking. Before you panic, that is not what the Coast Guard is trying to communicate even though it mentioned the riser pipe and other debris as the possible source.
The Coast Guard noted, “Recent ROV video footage of the capped Macondo well has shown no evidence of a release from the well.” It also ended, “BP’s Macondo well is not suspected as a source of the sheen.” The Coast Guard statement is here.
Still, Transocean stock fell 1.4% to $51.74 on a day that the DJIA rose 146 points today and when BP plc (NYSE: BP) rose 2.7% to $37.94 on the day.
What is interesting is that this is just days after BP plc (NYSE: BP) filed for regulatory approval to begin deepwater drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico. The plan is seeking approval for further appraisal drilling at the 2006 Kaskida discovery in the Keathley Canyon area. “It was also noted by BP that Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) have resumed activity.
JON C. OGG