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October 20, 2017updated 25 Oct 2017 6:42am

Rowan-Saudi Aramco JV Aro Drilling begins operations

Rowan Companies and Saudi Arabian Oil Company joint venture Aro Drilling has started its offshore operations.

Rowan Companies and Saudi Arabian Oil Company joint venture Aro Drilling has started its offshore operations.

Both companies have contributed equal amount of cash to the JV, as a part of the initial start-up of Aro Drilling.

Rowan sold three of its jack-up drilling rigs to the new company, while Saudi Aramco sold one rig from its portfolio.

After the acquisition of the new drilling rigs, Aro Drilling distributed excess cash amounting to nearly $88m to Rowan and Saudi Aramco to maintain their equal partnership in the JV.

Aro Drilling president and CEO Tom Burke said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of ARO Drilling.

“This is a groundbreaking joint venture that supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and provides Rowan with an unparalleled long-term growth opportunity throughout the next decade and beyond.”

“Both parties have also decided that Aro Drilling will acquire 20 new build rigs by Saudi Aramco’s manufacturing joint venture.”

Under the Aro Drilling shareholders’ agreement, Saudi Aramco is scheduled to sell another jack-up rig to the JV this year, while Rowan will sell two further jack-up rigs to Aro Drilling after it completes all current contract obligations by late next year.

Both parties have also decided that Aro Drilling will acquire 20 new build rigs by Saudi Aramco’s manufacturing joint venture.

To be delivered between 2021 and 2030, with each rig having a 16-year drilling commitment to Aro Drilling from the date of their delivery.

Aro Drilling will manage the operations of seven Rowan’s jack-up rigs currently deployed in Saudi Arabia.

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