Rowan Companies and the Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco have agreed to set up a joint venture to operate offshore drilling rigs in the kingdom, the American company said in a statement.
The new JV to operate and manage the rigs, equally owned through the companies’ respective subsidiaries, will begin operations in the second quarter of 2107 with Rowan contributing three of its jack-up drilling rigs and Saudi Aramco contributing two of its jack-up drilling rigs.
Rowan, which provides contract drilling services with a fleet of 30 mobile offshore drilling units globally, will contribute an additional two jack-up rigs as they complete their current Saudi Aramco contracts in late 2018. The new company will also 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 Saudi Aramco have committed the new company to purchase future new build rigs that will be constructed in Saudi Arabia.
“Rowan has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Saudi Aramco and we welcome this opportunity to further strengthen our partnership and extend our commitment to the region,” said Tom Burke, president and chief executive of Rowan. “The new company will uniquely position Rowan to participate in the growing Saudi Arabian offshore drilling market, and provide Rowan with a compelling opportunity for a long-term partnership with the world's leading oil and gas company, and create a long-term, profitable growth platform with firm rig commitments."
Rowan’s fleet operates globally and is comprised of 26 jack-up rigs and four ultra-deepwater drillships.