Transoean Hit With Hefty Norwegian Tax Fine

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Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, has been hit with a $1.8 billion tax evasion charge by Norway. Tax advisers from privately held accounting firm Ernst & Young who were working with Transocean in Norway have also been indicted in relation to the evasion charge.

The charges announced today against Transocean and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling are related to the sale of 12 oil rigs 10 years ago by their Norwegian subsidiary Transocean ASA, according to the Associated Press. Switzerland-based Transocean (RIG) has denied any wrongdoing as has Ernst & Young.

Norway's police unit Oekokrim is investigating the matter. The unit is in charge of investigate economic crimes in the country.

Police say the alleged underpayments stem from several transactions in connection with the sale of twelve oil rigs from Transocean's Norwegian subisidiary to other company units in the Cayman Islands, Reuters reported.