In the "Downstream and/or Upstream" thread, I mentioned again the deal that Seadrill subsidiary,North Atlantic Drilling Limited (NADL) has been working on that has delayed NADL's listing onthe US markets. I also mentioned a SeekingAlpha blogger's two guesses on the partner--http://seekingalpha.com/article/1669782-seadrill-and-north-a...The author came to the conclusion that it was likely one of two Russian companies- Rosneft or Sakhalin-I.Rosneft was one of my guesses too. My second guess was Gazprom. However, after thinking about ita little more, and then going back and re-reading the Press release (link below), another thought occurredto mehttp://www.seadrill.com/modules/module_123/proxy.asp?C=42&am...Nothing in that Press release said the company was Russian. That was an inference on my part.Here are the two specific paragraphs that relate to the partner--The boards of Seadrill and NADL have in this respect focused on further strengthening the foothold for future operations in new offshore frontiers, including the emerging Arctic and sub-Arctic harsh environment areas in the Northern hemisphere. Particular focus has been placed on pursuing business in the promising Russian offshore sector.NADL and Seadrill are pleased to announce that a preliminary agreement to create a strategic partnership with a strong industrial player has been reached to foster growth of the company's harsh environment business. The potential strategic partner has a strong foothold in the Russian market, vast experience and competence in Arctic operations, including unique expertise in ice management. The partnership brings together organisations with complimentary skillsets well positioned to capture growth, building on their respective experience and know-how and creating new industrial synergies. Note, ... a strong foothold in the Russian market. But not necessarily a Russian entity. HockeyPopmentioned British Petroleum (BP) was once involved with the Russians, but exited the venture. Okay,so unless they did an about-turn, that rules out BP. But how about Anglo-Dutch oil major, Shell?They seem to be involved in Russia--http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Gazprom-Ca...But, there's another company that might also fit as a partner- Norwegian company Statoil (STO).They have activities all around the world, including some involvement with the Arctic regions ofRussia.http://www.statoil.com/en/About/Worldwide/Russia/Pages/defau...In terms of working with a strategic partner, and eventually giving the partner a majority stake, itwould seem like Statoil might be easier to work with than Rosneft.If Seadrill, NADL and the strategic partner keep their time-line, we should know the namesoon enough. The end of September at the latest. But I'm going to shuffle my guesses1. Statoil (STO) 2. Rosneft 3. Gazprom and/or Shell
Statoil would be my guess too
There may be legal reasons why the partner can't be disclosed right at this moment, or that the partner wishes to remain anonymous. But if the partner's identity continues to be hidden for longer that such factors require, then I would tend to think it is one of the Russian companies. Reason being, disclosure of the other possibilities would be seen as a plus, being large well-regarded names. However, such is their reputation that having one of the major Russian companies as a partner might actually be a risky negative, as far as potential investors are concerned.
There may be legal reasons why the partner can't be disclosed right at this moment, or that the partner wishes to remain anonymous. But if the partner's identity continues to be hidden for longer that such factors require, then I would tend to think it is one of the Russian companies. Oh, I don't doubt it is for legal reasons. SDRL management pointed that out during the earnings call.Statoil (STO) is majority owned by the Norwegian government, so that could be part of the issue.SDRL is also sorting through a tax issue wrt to NADL and Norway, so that another kink. NADL currently have a number of vessels charted to Statoil, so another issue becomes how those existing contracts are dealt with if the partnership does come together. Obviously, lots of things to be worked out.
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