Aramco, Rowan form offshore drilling joint venture company

Rowan Cos. PLC and Saudi Aramco have signed, through their respective subsidiaries, an agreement to create a 50-50 joint venture that will own, operate, and manage offshore drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia.

In a joint release, the companies said, “The new joint venture company will use Rowan’s established business in Saudi Arabia as its base with a scope of operations covering Saudi Arabia’s existing and future offshore oil and gas fields.”

The new company is anticipated to start operations in second-quarter 2017.

At the start of operations of the new firm, Rowan will contribute three of its jack up drilling rigs and Aramco will contribute two of its jack up rigs. Rowan will contribute an additional two jack up rigs as they complete their current Aramco contracts in late 2018.

The new JV also will manage the operations of five Rowan jack up rigs currently in Saudi Arabia, until their associated drilling contracts expire, which then may be released, leased by or contributed to the new company thereafter.

Rowan and Aramco have committed the new company to purchase future newbuild rigs that will be constructed in Saudi Arabia.

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