(DryShips story updated to provide further commentary from the company's COO)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- DryShips (DRYS - Get Report) hopes to move a step closer to selling off a chunk of its offshore energy exploration business in an IPO "within the next two quarters," the company's operating chief, Pankaj Khanna, said Thursday.
In an interview with TheStreet during a shipping-industry investor conference here, Khanna said DryShips expects to win long-term charter contracts on "at least two" of the four so-called ultra-deepwater drillships currently being built for the company at a shipyard in South Korea.
DryShips already has two offshore drilling vessels in operation, one in the Black Sea and the other off the coast of Ghana, in West Africa.
|DryShips' Leiv Eiriksson, a deepwater oil-drilling vessel|