Nabors signs joint-venture pact with Saudi Aramco

(FILES) A picture taken on June 23, 2008 shows a flame from a Saudi Aramco oil installion known as "Pump 3" in the desert near the oil-rich area of Khouris, 160 kms east of the Saudi capital Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is considering issuing shares in state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's powerful deputy crown prince told The Economist in a rare interview published on January 7, 2016.    AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANIMARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images
A Saudi Aramco oil installion known as “Pump 3” in the desert near the oil-rich area of Khouris. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANIMARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images

Nabors Industries has signed an operating agreement with Saudi Aramco in what the companies are calling an example of the Saudi government’s push for economic diversification.

Nabors and Saudi Aramco will equally own, manage and operate onshore drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia. Operations are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2017.

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Both companies will set up land rigs in the country and pledge money toward future rigs that will be manufactured in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco wants to create local industrial hubs, creating skilled jobs in areas including rig and equipment manufacturing to help make Saudi Arabia’s energy sector more competitive, according to a company statement.

Nabors, which has had a long presence in Saudi Arabia, calls the agreement “one of the anchor projects” in Saudi Aramco’s effort.

Houston-based Nabors is involved in onshore and offshore drilling in the U.S. and worldwide, and bills itself as having the world’s largest land-based drilling rig fleet.

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