Skip to comments.Oilfield Service and Drilling Companies Respond to Hope and Change
Posted on 12/24/2008 5:58:12 AM PST by Principled
The two largest offshore drilling companies, one of the largest oilfield service companies, and other major firms have announced plans to relocate their corporate offices to Switzerland:
Noble Corp. today became the latest in a recent string of Houston oil and gas firms to announce plans to move their corporate headquarters to Switzerland, a change experts said is cheifly for tax purposes. The worlds second largest offshore drilling contractor, now incorporated in the Cayman Islands and run from Sugar Land [Texas], said its board has approved the change, and now will put the proposal to shareholders and the Cayman courts. *** The announcement came the same day Transocean, the worlds largest offshore driller, completed the process of changing its incorporation from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. With the change, CEO Robert Long and other top officers will leave Houston to run the company from a new European headquarters.
Last week, Houston oil field services giant Weatherford International announced plans to reincorporate in Switzerland and move its CEO, Bernard J. Duroc-Danner, and other top officers there. Shareholders have not yet approved the change.
And other companies, including Tyco International and construction firm Foster Wheeler, have also recently announced plans to reincorporate in Switzerland.
The article notes Nabors Drilling, the worlds largest land driller, is also expected to move. The moves are aimed at protecting the companies from anticipated changes in U.S. tax policies:
Chiefly, the moves are designed to preserve tax benefits the companies enjoyed from being domiciled in countries like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands with favorable corporate tax rules, said Pierre Conner, an industry analyst with Capital One Southcoast in New Orleans.
Now, what were finding is those companies feel there are better tax protection in Switzerland than in these countries, he said. So theyre going ahead and making another step to protect the current tax structures that they have, Conner said.
Noble, which moved its incorporation from Delaware to the Cayman Islands, currently has an effective tax rate of about 19 percent, said Angie Sedita, industry analyst with Macquarie Capital, in a note to investors today.
Lawmakers have threatened to close tax loopholes that allow U.S. companies to benefit from incorporating in offshore tax havens while operating from the U.S. But Switzerland has tax treaties with the U.S. that would protect companies even if the laws change.
Companies are also moving to be closer to emerging markets where oil and gas drilling and production are encouraged:
In addition, the move will put Noble closer to a faster-growing customer base in the eastern hemisphere, where more than half of its revenue comes from today.
Last year, Houston oil field services firm Halliburton Co. cited similar reasons for establishing a dual headquarters in Dubai and moving CEO Dave Lesar there.
I would encourage these companies to move if I were a shareholder. Theres no future in the U.S. for the oil and gas industry and that means theres no realistic near-term energy future for America.
A corporate tax reduction or elimination would help with our needs for capital.
Zero is sniffing the nrst trail for just this reason.
Donner, Dasher, Blitzen, pinger
Are personal tax rates low there too? Maybe we ought to consider...
B.H.O. wants to punish the productive industries and subsidize the failures.
looks like they’re taking maxine waters threats seriously.
see youtube where ms. waters stutteringly spoke about “socializing, er, taking over” their oil companies. (oil executives being grilled by democrat schmucks at a hearing in Washington.)
not a single one of her fellow democrats did anything to interupt her statement of future democrat intentions.
they’re blatantly in the open now.
will the last American company to leave, please turn out the lights?
THIS IS THE SAME B#$CH THAT EXPOUNDED THE VIRTUES OF FRANKLIN RAINES JUST BEFORE HE TOOK HIS $90MIL AND RAN AWAY FROM WHAT HE HAD DONE TO FANNIE MAY.
“Theres no future in the U.S. for the oil and gas industry and that means theres no realistic near-term energy future for America.”
what an appropriate statement. I hope this is reported loud and clear in the media (which of course it will not be).
I regretfully hope that other large multi-nationals do the same and deny the new Marxist regime tax revenue that they thought they would confiscate.
It is sweet justice to this new regime and the idiots that voted for it.
“The moves are aimed at protecting the companies from anticipated changes in U.S. tax policies...”
So...what right-minded, thinking individual DIDN’T see this coming?
It’s the start of what will likely become a deluge of corporate entities relocating to more favorable tax climates. And folks will have to thank the 60+ million idiots who voted for the One...the Obamessiah...the Loon from the Loop...the commie from Chicago.
Strap in, folks, there is some turbulence in the area...
stimulating bunch, aren’t they?
Absolutely and it won't be the last!
It's time to scrap this monstrosity and replace it with a national sales/consumption tax via The Fair Tax(HR25/S1025).Fair Tax ping!
I heartily concur and continue to wonder why this nation, the greatest FREEDOM experiment in human history, continues to willingly abide the economic slavery we suffer under the income tax system!
This was once America.
Quite so. This goes hand-in-hand with what the Unions are doing to the industries of these United States. Where we once were a textile powerhouse, how many mills exist within our shores now? The steel industry is nothing but a shadow of its once former self. The auto industry is in a tail spin.
Switzerland = Galt’s Gulch
It is happening at an ever increasing pace and the reult will NOT be pretty!
Forget freedom. Now we’re One big affirmative action.
Everyone will feel sooo good as leadership goes elsewhere.
I recently heard on a radio newscast that some US doctors are forming corporations to build medical clinics and hospitals in the Caribbean Islands in order to escape the socialized medicine scheme that Obama intends to set up in cooperation with the liberal Democrat controlled House and Senate that will convene next year.
Unfortunately, the average American patient won't be able to afford the cost of traveling to and staying in those offshore medical facilities plus the uninsured cost of the medical treatment and drugs, and will be condemned to the long waits for treatment here in the US that ailing Canadians and Brits now have to endure. I don't know how much truth there is to that radio news story, if any, but it seems to me as though it's probably true for at least some doctors who are adamantly opposed to socialized health care. I'm not a doctor, but if I were I would not willingly participate in whatever leftist Euro-style socialized medicine scheme that Obama may have planned for us.