Weatherford closes deal to sell drilling rigs in North Africa

Weatherford said it has secured further backing after announcing last week that it was heading for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Weatherford said it has secured further backing after announcing last week that it was heading for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Struggling oilfield service company Weatherford International has closed on the third of four deals to sell its drilling rigs in the Middle East and North Africa.

Weatherford closed a $60 million deal on Wednesday afternoon to sell four of the company’s drilling rigs in the North African nation of Algeria.

Headquartered in Switzerland but with a large presence in Houston, Weatherford has been selling its Middle Eastern drilling rig subsidiary Precision Drilling Services Saudi Arabia, or PDSSA, to Dubai-based ADES International Holding Ltd. in phases.

ADES agreed to buy PDSSA in a $287.5 million deal that was announced July. Structured into a series of four closings, the first deal closed in November and the second one closed in December.

In this round, PDSSA sold the rigs, 350 employees and customer contracts to ADES.

The asset sale is the latest divestiture for the struggling oilfield service company, which posted a $2.8 billion loss on roughly $5.6 billion of revenue in 2018.

Enduring some 17 consecutive quarters of losses, Weatherford has not made a profit since the third quarter of 2014 when a crude oil price downturn dragged down the entire U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

As of New Year’s Day, the company employs 26,500 people in 80 nations. The figure marks a nine percent drop from the 29,200 employees in 2017.

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