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2015-05-28

Seadrill Partners LLC : Announces First Quarter 2015 Results

Highlights

* Seadrill Partners reports net income attributable to Seadrill Partners LLC
Members for the first quarter 2015 of $38.2 million and operating income of
$190.7 million.

* Generated distributable cash flow of $82.0 million with a coverage ratio of
1.48x for the first quarter 2015.

* Declared a $0.5675 per unit distribution for the first quarter, in line
with the fourth quarter distribution.

* Economic utilization for the first quarter of 93%.

* Seadrill Partners swaps the contracts for the West Capricorn and West
Sirius, both contracted with BP Exploration&Production Inc., and thereby
extends the contract term on the West Capricorn for an additional two years
until July 2019 with BP Exploration&Production Inc.

* Seadrill Partners receives a notice of termination for the West Sirius from
BP Exploration&Production Inc. In accordance with the cancellation
provisions in the West Sirius contract, Seadrill Partners will receive
payments over the remaining contract term, now expiring in July 2017.

Subsequent Events

* The Board is pleased to announce that John T. Roche will replace Rune
Magnus Lundetrae as Chief Financial Officer of Seadrill Partners with
effect from June 1, 2015. Mr. Roche is currently Vice President of Investor
Relations for Seadrill and will continue with this responsibility on a part
time basis. Prior to joining Seadrill in May 2013 Mr. Roche spent 12 years
at Morgan Stanley most recently as an Executive Director in its Investment
Banking Division.

Financial Results Overview

Seadrill Partners LLC reports:Total contract revenues were $385.9 million for the first quarter 2015 (the
"first quarter") compared to $369.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014
(the "fourth quarter"). The increase in revenues is primarily driven by a
full quarter of operations on the West Vela and improved uptime on the West
Aquarius.

Operating income for the quarter was $190.7 million compared to $168.9 million
in the preceding quarter. The increase is largely as a result of operational
improvements described above and a full quarter of operation of the West
Vela.

Net income for the quarter was $70.9 million compared to $70.1 million in the
previous quarter. This is after the recognition of the loss on derivative
instruments of $51.9 million in the first quarter as compared to a loss of
$48.4 million for the fourth quarter as a result of a decrease in long term
interest rates in the first quarter. The unrealized non-cash element of these
amounts is a $38.9 million loss in the first quarter and a $36.6 million loss
for the fourth quarter.

As a result, net income attributable to Seadrill Partners LLC Members was
$38.2 million for the first quarter compared to $33.1 million for the
previous quarter.

Distributable cash flow was $82.0 million for Seadrill Partners' first quarter
as compared to $80.1 million for the previous quartergiving a coverage ratio
of 1.48x for the first quarter. The increase in distributable cash flow is
mainly as a result of a full quarter of operations for the West Vela and
improved operational performance offset in part by higher cash taxes paid.
The coverage ratio has also been positively impacted by the decision to
maintain distributions at the fourth quarter level.

Distribution for the period was $0.5675 per unit, equivalent to an annual
distribution of $2.27, representing a 46% increase from the Company's minimum
quarterly distribution set at its IPO.

Operations

Overall economic utilization for the fleet was 93% for the first quarter.
With the exception of downtime on the West Aquarius, the fleet generally
performed well during the first quarter, achieving an economic utilization
rate of 96.3% excluding the West Aquarius.

During the first quarter, Seadrill Partners received a notice of termination
from BP Exploration&Production Inc. for the contract for the West Sirius
which became effective after completing a well in progress and demobilization
on April 24, 2015.

Prior to the cancellation notice, the dayrate and term for the West Sirius and
West Capricorn contracts were swapped. The West Sirius dayrate was decreased
by $40,000 per day and the term was decreased by two years to expire in July
2017 while the dayrate for the West Capricorn was increased by $40,000 per
day and the term was extended by two years to expire in July 2019. Amortized
payments for the West Capricorn such as mobilization and upgrades will
continue on the original schedule ending in July 2017. In accordance with
the cancellation provisions in the West Sirius contract, Seadrill Partners
will receive payments over the remaining contract term, now expiring in July
2017.

As a result of the termination, Seadrill Partners' backlog decreased by
approximately $160 million. After taking into consideration the expected
decrease in operational expense while the unit is cold stacked, and the fact
that termination fee payments will not be impacted by downtime, Seadrill
Partners does not expect a material impact on its cash flow position over the
contract period through July 2017.

The Semi-tender rig West Vencedor will complete its current contract during
the second week of June and is expected to complete its demobilisation and
relocation to Southeast Asia, for which it receives a fee of $8.5 million, by
the second week in July. The Company expects this fee to cover all expenses
related to the demobilization and relocation. Follow on employment
opportunities continue to be pursued for the West Vencedor and the Company
will focus on reducing costs during its idle period.

Total operating expenses for the first quarter were $210.0 million, compared
to $211.7 million in the previous quarter. Despite the inclusion of the West
Vela for a full quarter of operations, operating expenses were approximately
in line with the prior quarter. Significant progress has been made to drive
efficiencies in operating expenditures across the fleet and in corporate
overhead.
Financing and Liquidity

As of March 31, 2015, the Company had cash and cash equivalents, on a
consolidated basis, of $242.0 million and two undrawn revolving credit
facilities totaling $200 million. One $100 million facility is provided by
Seadrill as the lender and the second $100 million facility is provided by a
syndicate of banks and secured in connection with the $2.9 billion term loan
B facility. Total debt was $3,617.5 million as of March 31, 2015; $571.7
million of this debt was originally incurred by Seadrill, as borrower, in
connection with its acquisition of the drilling rigs.

Net debt as at March 31, 2015 was therefore $3,375.5 million giving a ratio of
net debt to annualized adjusted EBITDA (4) of 3.2:1.

As of March 31, 2015 the Company had two secured credit facilities, in
addition to the term loan B. These facilities expire in 2017 and 2025.
Additionally the Company has a $109.5 million vendor loan from Seadrill
maturing in 2016 relating to the acquisition of the T-15 and a $69.9 million
intercompany loan from Seadrill relating to the West Vencedor maturing in
June 2018.

Seadrill Partners will continue to explore refinancing alternatives for the
remaining related party debt on the West Vencedor, T-15, T-16, and West Vela.

As of March 31, 2015, Seadrill Partners had interest rate swaps outstanding on
principal debt of $3,560.7 million. All of the interest rate swap agreements
were entered into subsequent to the IPO Closing Date and represent
approximately 98% of debt obligations as of March 31, 2015. The average
swapped rate, excluding bank margins, is approximately 2.25%. The Company has
a policy of hedging the significant majority of its long-term interest rate
exposure in order to reduce the risk of a rising interest rate environment.
Market

Despite the recovery in the oil price during the first quarter, oil companies
are continuing to take a cautious approach to capital expenditure and other
cost commitments given the severity of the overall oil price decline. We
anticipate this cautious approach to continue throughout 2015 and indications
are that 2016 is likely to be a challenging year as well.

During the quarter, the market has seen very little new fixture activity and
the new contracts that have materialized are at significantly lower dayrates.
Customer conversations have focused on renegotiation of existing contracts,
often in exchange for additional duration.

The downturn in the offshore drilling market has continued during the first
quarter and all signs point to 2015 demand being significantly lower than in
2014. The outlook for activity beyond 2015 is difficult to judge but most
oil companies are not looking towards adding rig capacity at this point. It
is likely that capacity utilization will drift lower as the year progresses
and a significant number of ultra-deepwater rigs are likely to be stacked by
the end of 2015.

Although the near term outlook remains challenging, there is visibility of an
expected rebalancing of market supply in the next few years when considering
the newbuild orderbook and the degree of scrapping that can be expected.
Currently the orderbook stands at approximately 89 units, of which 29 are
Sete new builds. At the same time roughly 70 units are rolling off contracts
many of which must undergo a 15 or 20 year classing between now and the end
of 2017. There is a high likelihood that a number of these units will be
scrapped, potentially leading to little or no fleet growth between now and
2018. Thus far, the market has seen 14 rigs scrapped in 2014 and 12 already
in 2015. This represents the highest degree of scrapping activity seen since
the early 1990's and is likely to accelerate over the next two years.

On the demand side, it is difficult to foresee a market that does not require
ultra-deepwater production to satisfy world hydrocarbon demand. In the
meantime, rig owners will continue to face a challenging market where the
decision to stack or scrap is being continually evaluated against the limited
work available.

With a line of sight to a stable supply picture and the requirement for
offshore production to meet global hydrocarbon demand needs, Seadrill
Partners is well positioned for the eventual recovery. Seadrill Partners
believes it is well positioned with long term contracts, a modern fleet and
high quality customers.
Outlook

Operating earnings moving forward will be negatively impacted by the
unemployment of the West Vencedor as well as, to a lesser extent, the
termination of the West Sirius contract.

The Semi-tender rig West Vencedor will complete its current contract, which
has not been renewed, during the second week of June, at which time it will
begin the process of demobilisation and relocation ...

Författare Hugin

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