Seadrill sells semi-submersibles for $1.7 bln in leaseback deal

Norwegian drill rig group Seadrill is selling ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rigs West Hercules and West Taurus for $1.7 billion and simultaneously leasing back the units.

Seadrill said it agreed the combined sale and leaseback deal with and Ship Finance International Limited, which involves a lease of the units for a 15 year period.

The up front cash contribution from the sale – adjusted for remaining newbuild instalments – is estimated up to $1 billion at delivery of the two semi-submersible rigs.

Seadrill says that with this lease deal it has secured necessary financing of its entire newbuild programme.

That includes the recent orders of one ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig, one semi-tender and four jack-ups.

Shareholders stand to gain from the cash infusion – both immediately and in the future.