Seadrill gaps higher on Gulf drilling contract news


New international contracts have multinational drilling firm Seadrill Ltd. (NYSE: SDRL) operating up 10% pre-market this morning.

The drilling contractor headquartered in Bermuda had revenue of $1.2 billion in 2018, and employs nearly 5000 people

Now, breaking news that Seadrill is unrolling a joint drilling plan with MENA operator Gulf Drilling International is pushing the company’s equity up.

The Gulfdrill project will involve five contracts in the gulf coast country of Qatar and will go into place through 2020 according to a press release on the issue published today.

Total contract value is estimated at $656 million.

“We are excited to establish a significant presence in an important Jackup market and to partner with GDI,” said Seadrill SEO Anton Dibowitz in a statement. “GulfDrill will give us the opportunity to improve our access to a market that is expected to show significant growth over the next years and strengthen our relationship with Qatar Petroleum.”

Many analysts would say that Seadrill needed this upward spike and a lot more, as the stock is down not only over a five day period, but in longer-term views.

As of Tuesday, SDRL stood at nearly $2.80, so the current spiked to around $2.30 leaves the equity with a lot more to go in order to claw back to weekly highs.

Chart history shows highs of over four dollars in the past month, and highs of near $10 this spring.

In fact, Seadrill has been trading steadily lower throughout the past year, notwithstanding an early spike before Thanksgiving of 2018 – and before that, there’s even more volatility in there with the skeletons in SDRL’s closet.

“Everything changed overnight,” wrote Jason Hall at Motley Fool back in July of 2018, describing the confusion as Seadrill emerged from bankruptcy.

Now, though, the new well-based contracts are giving SDRL a shot in the arm that might take it higher as the driller extends its regional capabilities a continent away from its base.