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Seadrill Turns to Loss on $1.8 Billion Writedown in Oil Rout

Seadrill Ltd., the offshore driller controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, reported its first quarterly loss since 2011 as a collapse in oil prices reduced demand for its rigs.

The net loss of $1.83 billion came after the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company booked $1.8 billion in non-cash impairment charges to investments and goodwill, it said in a statement. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 14 percent to $546 million from a year earlier, beating the $506 million average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 21 analysts.

Seadrill rose as much as 6.5 percent in Oslo, the most since Nov. 16, and the shares closed 2.9 percent higher at 55 kroner, bringing losses over the past 12 months to 61 percent.

Seadrill and other offshore-rig owners such as Transocean Ltd. and Ensco Plc are suffering as oil companies cut investments after crude prices fell to about $45 a barrel from a high of $115 in June 2014. Demand is weakening at the same time as the market faces a glut of new vessels, prompting drillers to cut dividends, defer newbuild deliveries and renegotiate contracts to weather the downturn.

The company said $1.1 billion of the impairment charge was related to its ownership in Seadrill Partners LLC and $563 million came after a test on goodwill.