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SeaDrill Wins Exploration & Drilling Contract from Statoil

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Offshore drilling contractor SeaDrill Limited (SDRL - Free Report) was recently awarded a contract by Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gas, a unit of integrated energy player Statoil ASA (STO - Free Report) , for SeaDrill’s drillship, West Saturn, in the Statoil operated BM-S-8 license in Brazil’s prolific Santos basin.

Per the terms of the agreement, Statoil will deploy SeaDrill’s ultra deepwater drillship, West Saturn, to drill one exploration well in the Guanxuma prospect and up to seven wells where Statoil has license and operatorship, including the Peregrino oil field in the Campos Basin. Statoil may exercise the options based on the results of the exploration programs. Subject to satisfactory results and regulatory approvals, the Norwegian operator may hire West Saturn across its Brazilian assets including Peregrino oil field in the Campos Basin. The move is in sync with Statoil’s commitment to follow-up on potential exploration success in the 2017-2018 programs

Per the contract, a drill stem test will also be conducted on the pre-salt Carcará discovery. Statoil recently inked a $379 million agreement to boost its operated interest in the BM-S-8 license from 66% to 76%. BM-S-8 includes a substantial part of the Carcará discovery comprising high-quality oil and gas. West Saturn will be revamped with managed pressure drilling system for the upcoming work scope and the drilling campaign is expected to commence between Dec 1, 2017 and Mar 1, 2018.

Even though oil has been trading in a bearish territory of late, many upstream companies are increasing their spending lately. This in turn led to a turnaround in the drillship activities. As evidence, Ensco plc (ESV - Free Report) secured contracts for three of its drillships few days back. In June Vantage Drilling Company and Noble Corporation also clinched drillship awards.

SeaDrill is poised to benefit from this uptick in drilling contracts, given its technologically advanced and versatile fleet. SeaDrill has a robust backlog of over $3.5 billion. The offshore driller's subsidiary – North Atlantic Drilling – has been securing a number of notable contracts lately including a contract for semi-submersible West Hercules to work in the UK. With the recent contract with Statoil, SeaDrill is likely to receive an additional backlog of $26 million, excluding the optional work for up to seven wells. Apart from generating a substantial amount of revenues, the contracts might be used to restructure negotiations with creditors.

Zacks Rank

Headquartered in London, SeaDrill is one of the youngest and most advanced fleets. The company has an excellent earnings surprise history, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average beat of 97.13%.

The company, under the Zacks categorized Oil & Gas-Drilling industry, carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Seadrill Limited Price

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