Seadrill Sells Part of Its Stake in SapuraKencana for USD 200 Million (Malaysia)

Seadrill Sells Part of Its Stake in SapuraKencana for USD 200 Million (Malaysia)

Seadrill, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling contractors, has sold 300 million shares in SapuraKencana Petroleum BHD (“SapuraKencana”). The proceeds from the transaction will be approximately US$200 million.

SapuraKencana is the new entity formed by a merger of Kencana Petroleum Bhd and SapuraCrest Petroleum Berhad in Malaysia. According to the Borneo Post, the $3.8 billion merger has created Malaysia’s largest oilfield services provider, and one of the top five oil and gas services companies in the world by asset value.

The book value of Seadrill’s total position in SapuraKencana was US$111 million by the end of the first quarter 2012. A material accounting gain related to Seadrills position in SapuraKencana is expected for the second quarter of 2012. Following the transaction, Seadrill will remain holder of 319.5 million shares in SapuraKencana, corresponding to 6.4% of the outstanding shares.

Chairman in Seadrill John Fredriksen says in a comment, “We are very pleased with the development in our solid business venture with SapuraKencana. The venture which initially was based on a joint ownership of five self-erecting tender rigs in Varia Perdana has over time been developed to include a large ownership in Sapura Crest and a joint venture in the Brazilian offshore construction market owning and operating three pipe laying support vessels.

Fredriksen adds: “We are particularly pleased with the way SapuraKencana has taken a leading role in the development of the offshore service industry in the Far East, and how this has been converted to profitable businesses to the benefit of shareholders. The sale of part of the shares is in line with Seadrill’s strategy to realize gains from its investment portfolio and use these funds to fund future growth within its core drilling business and also optimize dividend capacity. Seadrill will remain one of the largest shareholders in SapuraKencana and is fully committed to work together with our Malaysian partner in order to develop future joint venture business.”

It is likely that part of the proceeds released from the sale of the shares will be used to equity finance future joint venture activities with particular focus on expanding the drilling activities in Varia Perdana. Seadrill sees significant potential in the profitable position SapuraKencana has established as a leading integrated player in the oil producing and service market.

Offshore Energy Today Staff, May 30, 2012