July 3 (UPI) — Offshore drilling company Seadrill said it appointed a new board of directors, put its shares back on the market and has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Seadrill Ltd., based in Norway, started looking at restructuring options in early 2017 after noting it didn’t expect improvements in lease rates for the year. Lease rates refer to the amount drilling contractors charge for the use of their platforms. During the market downturn that began in late 2015, other rig companies cut their day rates to stay competitive.
Seadrill, which counts dozens of deepwater and ultra-deepwater drillships in its fleet, said it was struggling with mounting debt and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September.
Emerging from bankruptcy after cashing in on bonds, the company said it had more than $1 billion in fresh capital. Total cash as of Monday was around $2.1 billion. With its shares back on the New York and Oslo exchange, and a new board in place, the company said it was ready to get back to business.
“We are pleased to be emerging from Chapter 11 and moving forward with a solid financial foundation on which we will continue to grow and strengthen our business,” John Fredriksen, the chairman of the board, said in a statement.
Trading of the roughly 16 million common shares begins Tuesday under ticker symbol SDRL.
The company remained in business during bankruptcy. Norwegian energy major Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, in March awarded nearly $40 million in contracts for drilling in Norwegian and British waters this summer. Equinor awarded two contracts to Seadrill companies for use of the West Phoenix semi-submersible rig, first for one exploration well in Norwegian waters, and then for three wells in British waters.
With three wells planned for British waters, Equinor said the rig commitment was a testament to the region’s durability.
Seadrill issues it next earnings report in November, which will include half-year and third quarter results.