In August 2005, Thule Drilling bought the semisubmersible Gulfdrill 7 (ex. Sedco 708) from Momentum Engineering in Dubai and the semisubmersible Seascout from Atwood Oceanic in USA. The total purchase price for the two units was US $27 million (NOK 171 mill).
The semisubmersibles have been renamed Thule Challenge and Thule Phoenix . While Thule Phoenix has a drilling ban for life, the Thule Challenge has a drilling ban that expires in July 2008. The two rigs were financed in August 2005 through a private placement done by Fearnley Fonds issued at NOK 26.50 per share.
As previously reported, Thule Drilling is focusing on becoming a pure jackup rig owner and selling the semisubmersible is thus part of this strategy. Potential buyers are still showing a keen interest, and selling Thule Phoenix is a viable option. With yesterdays sale in mind, buying the rigs six months ago were a very good move.
Thule Drilling will book a profit of about NOK 150 million in the first quarter of 2006 due to the sale of Thule Challenge . The equity ratio of the company is exceptionally good.
In addition to the remaining semisubmersible, Thule Drilling has the jackup rig Thule Power that is scheduled to be delivered in August 2006. The rig has a letter of intent that secures employment for five years at a rate of US $80,000 per day. The rig will be repaid in less than three years. In addition, the Company has the two newbuild jackup rigs Thule Energy and Thule Force that will be delivered in November 2007 and March 2008 respectively. Funding for the two rigs was obtained in January 2006 through a private placement done by Fearnley Fonds and First Security. The Company also has an additional nine newbuild options to build jackups at the QGM yard in Dubai, UAE. The first option can be declared in October 2006.
Thule Challenge was sold to Atlantic Marine Offshore Services in Dubai.
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