ENSCO International Incorporated announced the closing of a new $195 million loan facility guaranteed by MARAD. The facility will be used to finance the ENSCO 7500 semisubmersible drilling rig currently being constructed for ENSCO by Friede Goldman Offshore. The rig is scheduled to commence drilling operations for Burlington Resources during
the fourth quarter of 2000.
The MARAD guarantee covers both interim financing during the construction period as well as 15 year bonds to be issued upon completion of construction. ENSCO expects to begin drawing under the interim financing during the first quarter of 2000.
The company also has reached a final settlement with Petroleos de Venezuela ("PDVSA") of various issues related to the October 1998 sale of four barge rigs to PDVSA by ENSCO's 85 percent-owned Venezuelan subsidiary. As a result of this settlement, ENSCO will realize a gain of $6.8 million, or approximately $5.2 million net after taxes and minority interest, in the fourth quarter of 1999.