Sted Garber, CEO of Global Santa Fe

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This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, November 29, 2001.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Shares of Global Santa Fe rose almost 4 percent today. The company ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate its recent merger. That deal, of course, between Global Marine and Santa Fe International, creating the world's second-biggest offshore drilling contractor.

Earlier, I spoke with the CEO of the new company, Sted Garber, and I asked if he had any doubts about sealing this deal.


STED GARBER, CEO, GLOBAL SANTA FE: I don't really think there's a question in my mind that it would get done or not. We had the votes fairly early on, and now we've been working on the transition. And it's really coming together very, very well.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you. This, in the light of what's happening with Enron — I'm sure you keep half an eye on that. Do you ever look at them and say, jeez, there but by the grace of God, could have gone moi?

GARBER: No, I really don't think so. And I don't want to say anything about somebody else in the industry, but I think our financials are very straightforward, very clear. Everybody can understand them. We don't have much debt, relative to our total capital position. We've got as much cash as we have debt right now.

So I think it's very clear. Global Santa Fe is a very simple company to understand, understand our financials. So I don't really think so.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, I know this doesn't directly affect drilling activities, but some say the way Enron conducted energy trading activities and swaps and all of that could impact your business down the road, especially if they go bankrupt — could it?

GARBER: Well, obviously, I think there's an impact, because they are a significant part of the market for the commodity, especially for gas. So I suppose there could be an impact on gas prices. But you have so many other things impacting the volatility of gas prices right now, that I think the market will settle out. And it won't settle out and be stable. It will settle out and continue to be volatile.

CAVUTO: Now, low oil prices can work against you. Right now, a longer term, how do you think the effect will be?

GARBER: Well, I'm not really concerned with oil prices at this these levels. Certainly, they're low, compared to when we announced the deal two months ago. But with prices trading in the $18-, $19 range, most of our major international customers use prices in area of 14 to 16 or 17 to run their economics. So I've maintained for a long time that we can see prices at this level and shouldn't have much of an impact.

CAVUTO: But what do you think Russia does? I mean, everybody is waiting for them to curtail production a lot more. What do you think happens?

GARBER: Well, I think you've got a standoff right now between OPEC and Russia. I think one side or the other will blink, and I'm not in a position to call which one it will be.

CAVUTO: Longer term, do you think prices stay where they are?

GARBER: I think a range around this level, ranging from maybe 18 or 19 on the low side, up to 24, 25 on the high side, is not a bad long-term forecast. And I think it's one our customers will live with, and one that will keep us busy.


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