Reuters: No Maersk Drilling sale in 2018. Diamond Offshore, Borr drilling might bid

Danish shipping giant Maersk Group might not sell its drilling division Maersk Drilling in 2018, as previously planned.

According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, the Danish company which has so far offloaded Maersk Oil and Maersk Tankers might wait some more with the divestment of its offshore drilling business.

There have been talks of a potential listing of Maersk Drilling, but this plan has been shelved due to “sluggish investor appetite in the drilling sector,” Reuters has reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

As for the sale, the news agency said, again citing unnamed sources, that Borr Drilling and Diamond Offshore were considering bids. To remind, Bloomberg last year reported the Rowan Drilling was also a potential suitor for Maersk Drilling rigs.

Divestment of energy business

Maersk Group has been working to divest its energy-related businesses since 2016, following a decision to split the company into two divisions: one focused on shipping and logistics, the other on oil and gas sector. It has already sold its oil and gas producer, Maersk Oil, and tanker business, Maersk Tankers.

Maersk Drilling as well as the offshore vessel division of the Maersk Group, Maersk Supply Service, were classified as discontinued operations and assets held for sale in 2017 as part of the group’s efforts to separate its oil and gas-related business from the rest of the group.

The group recently said it expected to find a structural solution for both businesses before the end of 2018, but, if the Reuters report is to be believed, this timeline no longer sticks.

Maersk Drilling reported a loss of $1.5 billion for the full year 2017 negatively impacted by an accounting impairment of $1.75 billion net of tax prior to classification as discontinued operations. In the year before, the driller’s loss totaled $709 million.

The result was further negatively impacted by a number of idle rigs and the expiration of contracts signed at higher day rates and an accounting loss from sale of the shares in Egyptian Drilling Company of $47 million. The result was positively impacted by high operational uptime and cost savings.

In the first week of May, Maersk Drilling secured three consecutive contracts for the Maersk Resolute and a contract extension for the Maersk Resolve jack-up rigs. Both rigs are operating in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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