"Continued improvement in demand and dayrates has produced a strong contract drilling backlog and a substantial increase in our current and projected cash flow," said GlobalSantaFe President and CEO Jon Marshall. "Notwithstanding our recently announced newbuild, we expect our future cash flow to significantly exceed our capital requirements, and our board of directors is committed to returning a substantial amount of our cash flow to shareholders."
The company's regular quarterly cash dividend of 22.5 cents per ordinary share is payable on April 13, 2006, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 31, 2006. It compares with a regular quarterly cash dividend of 7.5 cents per ordinary share a year earlier. GlobalSantaFe's board of directors voted twice in 2005 to raise the regular quarterly cash dividend a total of 150 percent.
GlobalSantaFe is a leading worldwide offshore oil and gas drilling contractor offering a full range of equipment and drilling management services and operating a diverse and technologically advanced fleet of 61 offshore rigs. The company's fleet includes premium and heavy-duty, harsh-environment jackups, semisubmersibles, and dynamically positioned ultra-deepwater drillships, as well as an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible under construction and two semisubmersibles operated for third parties under a joint venture agreement. GlobalSantaFe is the world's leading provider of turnkey drilling and drilling management services.
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