Transocean Vows To Fight Norwegian Tax Claim

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Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, said it will fight Norway's $1.8 billion tax-evasion charge against the company, adding that the indictments are without merit, according to an e-mailed statement from the company that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

On Wednesday, charges were levied against Transocean and Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling are related to the sale of 12 oil rigs 10 a decade ago by their Norwegian subsidiary Transocean ASA. Transocean (RIG) said it will ''vigorously contest the claims.''

The case could be the largest tax case in Norway's history, Bloomberg reported. Transocean has since shut its Norway business. Norway's National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime is looking to expedite the case to Oslo as soon as possible.

The agency claims Transocean hid behind tax havens. Two Ernst & Young employees in Norway are also being charged with tax evasion related to the case.