June 1 (UPI) -- Rig company Transcoean said it secured more than $1 billion for the sale of parts of its shallow-water fleet in a move that aligns with streamlining efforts.
The company said it completed the sale of a fleet of rigs to rival Borr Drilling Ltd. for total consideration of about $1.35 billion. The fleet includes 15 jackup rigs, some of which are still under construction at a shipyard in Singapore.
Jackups are mobile units for offshore operations in relatively shallow waters. The company said it would continue operating three of the rigs deployed offshore Thailand until those contracts expire.
Transocean President and CEO Jeremy Thigpen said the sale enhances liquidity and the options for a company that struggled through last year's market downturn.
"The sale of our jackup fleet is consistent with our strategic goal of remaining the industry's undisputed leader in the ultra-deepwater and harsh environment markets," he said in a statement.
After a fourth-quarter rebound, Thigpen said inquiries from potential customers were coming in for his company as markets improved. Crude oil prices have been steady at around $50 per barrel, after dropping below $30 early last year, and are up about 5 percent from this time last year. That's offering some incentive to energy companies to spend more on the services a company like Transocean provides.
A March report from analysis group Wood Mackenzie found deep water basins were getting more competitive. The cost to break even on oil and gas projects in deep waters dropped from around $70 per barrel to below $50 per barrel in some cases, it found.
First-quarter figures were poor for Transocean, however, showing the overall market remains under pressure. The rig company earned $91 million, down from the $235 million posted during the same time last year.