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How Transocean Forges Ahead During COVID-19

Transocean is working around the clock to support its employees while ensuring their health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning, the company has closely monitored the situation and swiftly implemented safeguards to protect its offshore crews, onshore employees, customers and contractors. This proactive approach and prioritization of employees' wellbeing enabled the offshore drilling contractor to continue delivering safe and efficient operations without any disruptions.

“As a company, we already had medical and operational procedures from previous experiences with SARS and Ebola,” said Michel Legrand, Managing Operations Director of Africa, Asia & Australia. “Transocean's response was prompt and efficient in updating procedures and protocols, and in setting up a corporate COVID-19 steering committee.”

Transocean began implementing its own travel limitations and safety protocols as early as February based on guidance from sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with input from Transocean's internal medical team. As the outbreak spread westward, the company initiated transitions of onshore employees to global, remote work environments. Health screenings, social distancing requirements and quarantine standards are in effect across Transocean's fleet for rig crews and employees whose work requires them to travel offshore or to a specific location.

“It's really a testimony to our people and how we've responded to the change and have managed to adapt by working remotely, being in isolation, finding unique ways to move people around the globe, and continuing to do everything possible to ensure the safety of our people first and foremost,” said Mike Wright, Transocean's Director of Health, Safety & Environment (HSE), Operations Integrity and Assurance. “We've had several government agencies and regulatory bodies recognize us for our efforts in how we have managed COVID."

A sentiment felt deeply by the Transocean team is an appreciation for the exemplary men and women working offshore. Despite the additional challenges posed by border closures, canceled flights, various quarantine requirements and other COVID-19-related safety protocols, they continue to show up each day with a renewed focus and a positive attitude.

“Our offshore teams reacted extremely well during all those challenging times, staying focused on continuing to deliver safe and efficient operations,” said Legrand. “Many of them had some extended hitches with a long time away from their family, but all demonstrated extraordinary commitment to keep all our rigs running with the same level of safety performance and efficiency.”

Transocean's onshore employees recognize this commitment and are passionate about supporting their offshore colleagues.

“The quarantine time periods, and hurdles with travel to and from the rig, have been a challenge,” said James Penny, Senior Manager of Fleet Organizational Development for Transocean. "We have pulled together as a team to do our best to make situations as easy as possible for our offshore employees.”

Throughout this unprecedented time, Transocean's medical group has provided invaluable in-house medical expertise, allowing the company to swiftly adapt to a rapidly changing situation and enact necessary, medically sound measures.

“The company was able to establish early, progressively and quickly all the [preventative] measures that we have today,” said Francois Pelat, a physician and Transocean's Senior Manager of Medical Services, Global, HSE Operations Support. “[The measures are] aligned with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and also our customers' [standards]."

Since COVID first became a concern early this year, Pelat and his team have prioritized communications with onshore and offshore employees, making sure they have all the information they need to stay safe.

“If I take a Transocean employee wherever [they are located] in the world today, they probably have better awareness, knowledge and ownership of the COVID best practices compared to someone you meet on the street,” said Pelat, who further expressed his belief that such increased COVID awareness provided through the company's communication and adherence to strict protocols benefited employees at work and at home.

Through collaborative engagement and continued cross-functional teamwork, Transocean's team has overcome numerous challenges posed by the pandemic.

“I think our people at Transocean are a testament to who we are as an organization,” said Wright. “It's with tremendous respect and humility that I can say we truly have the best operations and support people in the industry.”

Legrand wholeheartedly agreed, praising Transocean's offshore personnel.

“We must recognize the commitment and dedication demonstrated by all of our offshore teams who allowed us to continue operating all of our rigs in a safe and efficient manner during these challenging times,” said Legrand.

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