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  1. #1 TAXES Oil field services providers early to inversion party 
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    BY Dan Freedman

    WASHINGTON Texas-based companies have been pioneers in the oil field since the day in 1901 when a well drilled to a depth of 1,139 feet yielded a geyser of mud, gas and then oil at Spindletop, southeast of Beaumont.

    Since then, some companies have blazed a lesser-known trail, moving their legal corporate addresses out of Texas and the U.S.

    Oil field services companies with roots in Houston were among early adopters of a strategy at the center of a heated political debate over a process called inversion moving official headquarters overseas to beat relatively high American corporate tax rates.

    Among them:

    Noble Corp., an offshore drilling contractor, left the Houston area to go to the Cayman Islands in 2002, to Switzerland in 2009 and to London last year.

    Transocean, another offshore driller, left Houston for the Cayman Islands in 1999, and moved to Zug, a town near Zurich, Switzerland, in 2008.

    Weatherford International, a major oil field services contractor, left Houston in 2002 for Bermuda and moved to Zug in 2008.

    The stakes are not trivial. Noble and Transocean alone saved more than $2 billion in taxes from 2002 to 2009 essentially by setting up offices in the Cayman Islands, according to calculations by economist Martin Sullivan of the non-partisan Virginia-based Tax Analysts group. Weatherford saved $923 million in those same years by moves that reduced its effective tax rate from 36.1 percent to 20.5 percent, Sullivan says.

    Spokesmen at Noble, Transocean and Weatherford did not respond to requests for comment.
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  2. #2  
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    Now, if only there was a way to tax DUmmies into leaving the country, we could at least still get by on less taxes from corporations..
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