Maersk Drilling, the Danish offshore drilling powerhouse, has agreed to sell the drilling and production unit Mrsk Inspirer to Havila Sirius for $373 million. Maersk drilling is currently under contract with Repsol in the Yme offshore field in Norway.
As part of the agreement, Repsol will charter the rig from Havila Sirius and undertake responsibility for its day-to-day operation of the Yme field rig on behalf of the Yme field partners.
Maersk Drilling stated that it will provide transitional services and that some workers will be moved from Maersk Drilling to Repsol.
Maersk Drilling agreed to offer drilling management services for a charge not included in the sale price for a period of 12 months following the sale of the rig.
"The acquisition is scheduled to close in the second half of 2021, pending permission from authorities and completion of offshore activities for the rig to be ready to accept hydrocarbons," Maersk Drilling stated.
Maersk Drilling highlighted that the sale was in line to align its fleet to its core business, i.e. drilling, and further reinforced its balances by substantially reducing the net debt of the Maersk Drilling company. The syndicated credit facility will partially redeem some of the proceeds.
Maersk Inspirer was launched as a jack-up drilling rig in 2004, and following an initial drilling program in the UK, the rig was modified to offer combined drilling and production service for Equinor on the Volve field offshore Norway between 2007 to 2017.
Maersk Inspirer was hauled offshore at the end of 2020 after finishing onshore improvements at the Egersund yard in Norway, in preparation for a five-year deal with new opportunities for combined drilling and production operations at the Repsol-operated Yme field in the North Sea, off the coast of Norway.
"Operating a production module is not part of Maersk Drilling’s core business and we believe that this is an attractive transaction which will create value for Maersk Drilling’s shareholders while securing a good future home for the rig," the company said on Thursday.
The deal will have no impact on Maersk Drilling's financial projection for 2021, according to the company. Maersk Drilling has upped its financial projection for 2021 EBITDA before special items to $260-310 million, up from the prior projection of USD 225-275 million, citing strong recent performance with drilling rig contracts.