As the company explained, it intends to use the Chapter 11 process to pursue a comprehensive restructuring of its approximately $3.0 billion in principal amount of outstanding funded debt.

With approximately $350 million of cash and cash equivalents as of 30 September 2017 and seven of the most advanced high-specification drillships, the company intends to continue its world-wide operations as usual and to perform and pay all obligations incurred during its Chapter 11 case in full, subject to court approval.

“We enter Chapter 11 with a strong cash position and the dedicated team necessary to continue to deliver the highest quality service to our customers in the safest and most efficient manner,” said Chief Executive Officer, Paul Reese. “Throughout the Chapter 11 process, we anticipate using our strong cash position to meet all ongoing obligations to our employees, customers, vendors, suppliers and others.”

The company announced a net loss for third-quarter 2017 of $157.5 million or $7.38 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of$138.1 million or $6.48 per diluted share for second-quarter 2017, and net income of $0.2 million or $0.01 per diluted share for third-quarter 2016.

The company's drillships are all constructed between 2010 and 2014, which could make it appealing for acquisition by a larger company, but Pacific Drilling has not revealed such intention so far.