If RIG decides to move into the MLP business, it won't affect the status of your stock. If RIG wants to devote part of it's business to MLP status, it will spin off that business as a separate independent entity. Current shareholders will not receive any compensation for such a spinoff and if they desire to participate in the spinoff, they will have to buy shares in the MLP.
RIG would profit from a spinoff as they would sell IPO shares for the MLP, thereby increasing their working capital. FYI: MLPs have some great tax advantages. Because of current tax laws, they can pay out higher rates of dividends than normal stocks. And the MLP dividends are treated, not as income, but as a reduction to the 'cost basis' of your investment. This means that you pay no taxes on your MLP dividends until your cost basis equals zero or if you decide to sell your MLP shares. If you do sell your MLP shares, your capital gains/taxes will be higher because you have reduced your cost basis.
Two important points about owning an MLP:
1. The tax accounting can be a headache. I do my own taxes and found that my H&R Block sw could not handle the accounting. However, I have read that Turbo Tax sw can easily do the accounting.
2. One advantage that MLP investors don't often think of, without being morbid, If you are getting on in years and you die before your cost basis reaches zero, then you can leave the MLP to your heirs. They can cash it in without paying any taxes and you won't have paid any taxes on the dividends either.
Finally, I believe that an MLP is only a foggy dream at this time in RIG's horizon.
I agree that an MLP is likely a pipedream but the fact that it was mentioned in the conference call was enough to get this going. Obviously with great earnings too. RIG is slowly trying to appease Icahn which is great for shareholders.