Pacific Drilling to make first shareholder payout

HOUSTON — Pacific Drilling has announced that its first cash distribution to shareholders of up to $152 million could be in the works, a move recommended by its board of directors based on the financial success of its ultradeep-water strategy.

The drilling contractor, which is incorporated in Luxembourg but has its operational headquarters in Houston, launched in 2008 and debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2011.

“Pacific Drilling had an outstanding year in 2013, in which we demonstrated that our focus on performance excellence using a consistent fleet of high-specification drillships staffed by dedicated offshore professionals can deliver industry-leading results,” said Chris Beckett, chief executive officer of Pacific Drilling, in a written statement.

CEO interview: Pacific Drilling is well within its ultradepth

The company also announced its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday: It earned $25.7 million in net income on $200.5 million of revenue for the fourth quarter, an increase from $16.5 million in income on $191.9 million of revenue for the same time last year.

Beckett said Pacific Drilling  is poised to benefit from the increasing demand in the offshore market for the advanced drilling capabilities his company’s drillships can provide.

“Demand for ultradeep-water drillships is increasingly segmented between the newest and most capable rigs,” Beckett said.

Pacific Drilling has a fleet of eight ultradeep-water drillships, five of which are currently contracted out. The remaining three drillships are under construction, the company said.

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