Fredriksen: Seadrill was not prepared for low oil prices

In an interview with Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, John Fredriksen, chairman of near bankrupt Seadrill, admitted he did not see the fall in oil prices coming. Seadrill’s share price has nosedived dramatically this week on Chapter 11 fears. The rig firm, in which Fredriksen, 72, is the largest shareholder, has been in a very tricky restructuring, something the shipping magnate described earlier this year as the most complex he’d seen is in his whole career.

Fredriksen told Dagens Næringsliv Seadrill’s financial set up was not prepared to withstand a sustained period of low oil prices. He vowed however to seek a solution for the troubled drilling unit.

“I work about 18 hours a day and will work day and night for the next three to four weeks. I have not one single minute to waste,” Fredriksen said.

Earlier this week, Seadrill warned shareholders are likely to receive minimal recovery for their existing shares in any restructuring.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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