Shandong Offshore International has agreed to acquire Northern Offshore (NOF) for Nkr1.3bn ($164m).

To be implemented by way of an amalgamation as per Bermuda law, which is subject to approval of NOF shareholders, the acquisition is expected to become effective during the first half of August 2015.

Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions, which include approval of the amalgamation by shareholders of NOF at the special general meeting (SGM) to be held around 15 July.

As part of the acquisition, NOF will merge with Shandong International’s subsidiary Blue Ocean Drilling.

"By retaining the NOF leadership team, we will have assembled a highly skilled and experienced team to direct and execute on our strategies."

Shandong Offshore International director Yu Bing said: "The acquisition of Northern Offshore is a positive step in our vision of building a high-performing offshore drilling organization to meet the current and future needs of the Global E&P sector.

"By retaining the NOF leadership team, when combined with our Blue Ocean Drilling leadership, we will have assembled a highly skilled and experienced team to direct and execute on our strategies as the new Northern Offshore going forward."

The combined NOF and Blue Ocean Drilling new-builds, deepwater jackups are set to be delivered from 2016 to 2018.

NOF president and CEO Gary Casswell said: "This transaction represents a major milestone in Northern Offshore’s previously stated strategy to transform our company to a niche, premium jackup drilling contractor with new, state-of-the-art assets."

Following the acquisition, NOF will be able to operate in all major petroleum resource regions worldwide, excluding the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

NOF plans to combine the four high spec jackups of Blue Ocean Drilling with its two jackups that are under construction with deliveries expected to take place in 2016 through early 2018.