Seadrill sells rigs, moves to London

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Seadrill, the large Norwegian-controlled oil rig firm, is selling 18 rigs to a Malaysian company and moving its headquarters, as widely expected, from Stavanger on Norway’s west coast to London, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

Seadrill officials wouldn’t publicly confirm the move to London, which greatly disappointed local government and business leaders in Stavanger, but DN cited sources “close to the process” as saying a move was already underway. New finance director Rune Magnus Lundetræ, age 35, did say that the move from Stavanger was in process.

Seadrill also announced a major deal this week to sell 18 rigs to SapuraKencana Petroleum of Malaysia, five of which Sapura already owns with 51 percent stakes. Seadrill will in turn gain shares worth USD 350 million in Sapura, becoming its third-largest shareholder with 13 percent.

Sapura will also enter into a formal cooperation with oil services company Archer, of which Seadrill owns 40 percent. Seadrill will receive, in addition, around NOK 7.5 billion in cash and two seats on Sapura’s board.

The deal will free up cash and reduce debt for Seadrill, Lundetræ told DN, which can aid Seadrill’s growth in other rig operations. staff