September 12, 2018 / 6:29 AM / 14 days ago

Seadrill CEO eyes rig market consolidation as oil prices rise

OSLO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Offshore rig owner Seadrill is prepared to make acquisitions if opportunities arise amid ongoing consolidation in the industry, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.

Competitor Transocean on Sept. 4 announced it was buying deepwater driller Ocean Rig for $2.7 billion, its second major deal this year as companies position themselves for an upturn in exploration amid rising oil prices.

“Based on the number of conversations, I believe there will be more deals... There is still a significant amount of fleet renewal that needs to happen among our competitors,” Seadrill CEO Anton Dibowitz told Reuters in an interview.

While Seadrill is comfortable with the current size and composition of its fleet, it also eyes consolidation, he added.

“We have a history of doing transactions, and we are certainly not going to sit on our hands,” Dibowitz said.

After emerging from U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, Seadrill remains a key component of the business empire of Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, who holds a stake of about 30 percent.

“We have an active and involved anchor shareholder and it’s certainly in our DNA,” Dibowitz said when asked about potential acquisitions. (Editing by Terje Solsvik)

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