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Maersk sells drilling barge activities in Venezuela



Maersk Drilling has sold its drilling barge activities in Venezuela to Panama-based investment company Barrystar Holding.


The activities, registered to Maritime Contractors Venezuela (MCVSA), include the ownership and operation of ten cantilevered offshore drilling barges working on Lake Maracaibo.


All the drilling barges are on contract with Venezuela's state owned national oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela (PdVSA).


MCVSA generated $195m of revenue in 2013. Marsek said the accounting gain from the transaction is positive for Maersk Drilling but insignificant for the Maersk Group.


Denmark-based Maersk Drilling, which has been operating in Venezuela since 1992, unveiled in 2013 that it will stop investing in MCVSA and would look to divest it.


Maersk Drilling CEO and executive board member of Maersk Group Claus Hemmingsen said: "The divestment of Maersk Drilling's drilling barge activities in Venezuela is in line with our strategy of focusing on developing and growing our core activities within the ultra-deepwater and ultra-harsh environment segments and we concluded that Maersk Drilling was no longer the best owner of the activities in MCVSA."


The company owns 19 drilling rigs including drillships, deepwater semi-submersibles and high-end jack-up rigs.


Maersk Drilling had two drillships and three jack-up rigs under construction at the end of the second-quarter of this year.


The company, which employs 4,000 people, generated a profit of $528m in 2013.

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