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Pacific Drilling files for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in US

Offshore oil and gas drilling firm Pacific Drilling has filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in the US, in a bid to pursue a comprehensive restructuring of its approximately $3bn in principal amount of outstanding funded debt.

The filing, which was made in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, will enable Pacific Drilling to optimize its capital structure pending recovery in the floating rig drilling industry.

Pacific Drilling CEO Paul Reese said: “We enter Chapter 11 with a strong cash position and the dedicated team necessary to continue to deliver the highest quality service to our customers in the safest and most efficient manner.

“Throughout the Chapter 11 process, we anticipate using our strong cash position to meet all ongoing obligations to our employees, customers, vendors, suppliers and others.”

As of 30 September 2017, the company had $350m of cash and cash equivalents, with seven advanced high-specification drillships.

Pacific Drilling said that it intends to carry out its world-wide operations as usual and to perform and pay all obligations incurred during its Chapter 11 case in full, subject to court approval.

Meanwhile, Pacific Drilling reported a net loss of $157.5m for the third quarter of 2017, compared to $138.1m net loss in the previous quarter. 

In September,  Pacific Drilling announced that it had received notice from NYSE Regulation regarding the suspension of trading of the company’s common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).