Maersk Drilling has agreed to offload the drilling and production unit Mærsk Inspirer to Havila Sirius in an all-cash deal worth $373m.

The sale is part of the Danish offshore drilling company’s strategy to align its fleet to its core business and cut down net debt.

The company plans to use part of the sale proceeds for partial repayment of the syndicated loan facility.

The Mærsk Inspirer is on contract with Spain’s Repsol at Yme field located in the Egersund Basin, around 100km off the coast of Norway.

On behalf of the Yme licensees, Repsol will now lease the jack-up rig from Havila Sirius.

Additionally, the Spanish firm will take over the responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the rig on the Yme field.

Maersk Drilling will also deliver certain transitional services and some of its employees are expected to be moved to Repsol.

Repsol Norge managing director Vidar Nedrebø said: “Taking over the responsibility of day-to-day operations of Mærsk Inspirer enables extractions of further contractual and operational synergies on behalf of the Yme licence.”

The deal is planned to close in the second half of this year. This awaits the approval of related authorities, as well as completion of offshore commissioning activities for the rig to be ready to receive hydrocarbons.

Maersk Drilling CEO Jørn Madsen said: “We are very pleased to enter this agreement with Havila Sirius and Repsol who have a special interest in taking ownership of Mærsk Inspirer’s production capabilities as part of the rig’s long-term commitment to Yme.”

The Yme oil field, which was in production from 1996 to 2001, is being redeveloped with plans to restart production in 2021.