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Transocean Ban on Renting Rigs to Petrobras in Brazil Eased

Transocean Ltd., the world’s biggest offshore driller, can keep renting equipment to Petroleo Brasileiro SA after Brazil’s top court partially lifted a ban on operations related to an oil spill.

The Superior Court of Justice allowed Transocean to continue operating its rigs in Brazil, except for the Frade project that is operated by Chevron Corp., Transocean said in a statement distributed by Marketwire yesterday. Eight of Transocean’s nine other rigs in Brazil are under contract with Petrobras, as the state-controlled producer is known.

Chevron had an oil spill at Frade last year while using one of Transocean’s rigs and halted production in the area in March to study the geology around the accident site. A court ordered Transocean on Sept. 27 to halt drilling within 30 days as part of a criminal case over spill damages. Transocean is pursuing a “complete resolution” of the cases in Brazil, it said.

“The company experienced no interruption of contract revenue from its operations in Brazil which, for the six months ended June 30, 2012, comprised approximately 11 percent of its consolidated operating revenues,” Transocean said.

Transocean fell 1.1 percent to $44.89 on Sept. 28 in New York.

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