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Seadrill Partners LLC – a subsidiary set up by Norwegian oilfield service firm Seadrill Limited (SDRL - Snapshot Report) – launched an initial public offering (IPO) of its common units. As per the registration filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the last week of September, the offered units have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker name ‘SDLP’.

Seadrill Partners has offered 8,750,000 units of common shares with the aim to raise approximately $200 million. The price range of the shares has been set between $20 to $22 each. The company also plans to offer the underwriters a 30-day over-allotment option, whereby they will be able to buy additional units of up to 1,312,500.

Seadrill Partners aims to utilize the proceeds from the offering to buy stakes in Seadrill Operating LP and Seadrill Capricorn Holdings LLC from the parent company.

Following the completion of the offering, Seadrill Limited will control 78.8% limited liability interest in Seadrill Partners – that will own, operate and purchase offshore drilling rigs via long-term contracts.

The start-up fleet of Seadrill Partners will comprise two semi-submersible rigs (West Capricorn and West Aquarius), one drillship (West Capella) and one tender rig (West Vencedor). The company’s drillships are contracted on a long-term basis by oil biggies like Chevron Corporation (CVX - Analyst Report), Total S.A. (TOT - Analyst Report), BP plc (BP - Analyst Report) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM - Analyst Report).

Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, Seadrill Limited renders offshore drilling services, which include drilling, completion and maintenance of offshore wells; production drilling and well maintenance; and well services to customers worldwide.  As of June 30, 2012, the company’s fleet included 43 offshore drilling units and 18 other units under construction.

Seadrill Limited retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months.

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