Houston-based Rowan teams with Saudi Aramco for new joint venture

The  Rowan Cecil Provine rig is under contract in case it's needed to drill a relief well to intercept a well  Apache Corp. is killing after its blowout preventer was activated.
The Rowan Cecil Provine rig is under contract in case it’s needed to drill a relief well to intercept a well Apache Corp. is killing after its blowout preventer was activated.

Houston-based drilling rig company Rowan is forming a joint venture with Saudi Aramco to create the biggest offshore drilling-rig business in Saudi Arabia.

The partnership will build off Rowan’s existing deepwater rig business in Saudi Arabia. The new company plans to begin operations in the second quarter of 2017.

Rowan CEO Tom Burke said Monday that the deal works because of its existing relationship contracting with Aramco.

“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,” Burke added.

To start, Rowan will contribute to the project three of its jack-up drilling rigs and Aramco will provide two such rigs. Rowan will contribute two more rigs once it completes its current Aramco contracts in late 2018. The new company will also manage the operations of five Rowan rigs currently in Saudi Arabia.

Rowan and Saudi Aramco said they agreed to buy future rigs constructed in Saudi Arabia.

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