Transocean Ltd. has announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has agreed to make an investment in Global Sea Mineral Resources NV (GSR) in exchange for a non-controlling interest in the company. GSR is the deep-sea mineral exploratory division of DEME Group NV and is engaged in the development and exploration of deep-sea polymetallic nodules that contain metals critical to the growing renewable energy market and is a leading developer of nodule collection technology.
Transocean has agreed to contribute the stacked Ocean Rig Olympia for GSR’s ongoing exploration work, as well as make a nominal cash investment. In addition, Transocean expects to contribute engineering services on an in-kind basis. GSR intends to convert the Olympia for a system integration test scheduled for 2025 to validate the technical and environmental feasibility of recovering polymetallic nodules in ultra-deepwater on a commercial scale.
The technical challenges associated with the recovery of deep-sea polymetallic nodules offer an opportunity to combine Transocean’s unique ultra-deepwater operating experience with GSR’s proprietary technology in polymetallic nodule collection to deliver a commercially viable nodule recovery enterprise for GSR.
Critical minerals found in deep-sea polymetallic nodules such as cobalt, nickel, copper, manganese, and rare earth metals are essential for many applications, including the production of high-capacity batteries. Many governments and private enterprises are actively developing critical mineral strategies to address the expectation that these metals will be undersupplied for years to come. Responsible recovery of the nodules from the seabed would provide a new and significant source of supply required to support rapidly growing demand.
“GSR has an excellent leasehold position, and we are excited to support its team in the effort to meet global demand for the critical minerals necessary for a lower carbon energy economy,” says Transocean’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Thigpen. “A mixture of all energy sources will be required to meet future global energy demands. Transocean’s work in deep sea minerals is another way we will continue providing essential offshore energy services.”