Pacific Drilling announced that it signed a $1 billion senior secured credit facility agreement to finance construction of the Pacific Sharav and Pacific Meltem.

The transaction was led and structured by Citibank and DNB, and supported by the Norwegian export credit agencies Garanti-Instituttet for Eksportkreditt and Eksportkreditt Norge AS. Also acting as mandated lead arrangers were ABN AMRO, ING, SEB and Standard Chartered Bank.

The term loan made pursuant to the credit facility will have a maturity of five years from the delivery date of the Pacific Meltem. A portion of the funding will be provided before delivery of the vessels, with all drawdowns from the facility subject to satisfaction of customary conditions precedent.

“We are pleased to announce the signing of this credit facility and appreciate the efforts of the lending group in enabling us to meet our goal of securing long-term financing for our sixth and seventh drillships,” stated Pacific Drilling CEO Chris Beckett. “Our strong relationships with leading commercial banks and export credit agencies should allow us to balance our financing sources and costs as we continue to grow our asset base.”

Legal counsel for the company was Vinson & Elkins and legal counsel for the lenders was Holland & Knight.

Pacific Drilling is an ultra-deepwater drilling contractor.