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Saudi Aramco signs landmark joint venture agreements with Nabors and Rowan

Saudi Aramco signed two landmark agreements with Nabors Industries and Rowan Companies to create two new national champions focused on onshore and offshore drilling. The new joint ventures mark a major milestone towards the development of a competitive Saudi energy sector, as encapsulated in the company’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (iktva) program and Saudi Vision 2030.

Amin H. Nasser, Saudi Aramco President and CEO said: “We look forward to successful partnerships with Nabors and Rowan to drive a best-in-class drilling industry, provide opportunities to manage drilling costs through increased collaboration, drive localization of the energy value chain, and enhance in-Kingdom technical capabilities. These initiatives represent an unprecedented new large scale model of collaboration, with substantial value creation for both Saudi Aramco and its partners through a closer working relationship. These investments are part of a wider program to leverage our core activities, to help enable the sustainable development of the Kingdom’s economy through diversification, and the development of an internationally competitive and dynamic local energy sector, supported by national champions.”

The joint ventures with Nabors and Rowan were announced as part of Saudi Aramco’s iktva Forum 2016, which marks its one-year anniversary. In December 2015, Saudi Aramco launched iktva, a major localization initiative designed to drive domestic value creation and maximize long-term economic growth, diversification, job creation and workforce development, to support a rapidly changing Saudi economy. Iktva aims to achieve 70% localization of all spending on goods and services, and to enable 30% export of Saudi energy sector products by 2021.

The onshore and offshore drilling joint ventures will invest $6 billion to $7 billion to purchase onshore rigs and offshore jackups, manufactured in Saudi Arabia by Saudi Aramco manufacturing joint ventures, which are in the process of being setup. The joint ventures will create an additional 5,000 jobs with an aim to achieve 80% Saudization levels. It is anticipated that the joint ventures will commence operations in the second quarter of 2017.

The onshore joint venture will combine Nabors and Saudi Aramco’s existing onshore drilling operations in Saudi Arabia, with the joint venture covering segments of our current and future onshore oil and gas fields in the Kingdom. It will initially own 15 contributed rigs (five from Saudi Aramco and 10 from Nabors) and manage the remaining Nabors-owned rigs currently in Saudi Arabia, for a total fleet of 41 rigs. The total value of initial contributions from both partners through domestic operations, assets, equipment and capital is estimated at over $1 billion dollars. In addition, the joint venture has committed to a substantial order of newbuild rigs over a 10-year period from an in-Kingdom manufacturing joint venture.

The offshore joint venture will combine Rowan and Saudi Aramco’s existing offshore drilling operations in Saudi Arabia, with the joint venture covering segments of our current and future offshore oil and gas fields in the Kingdom. It will initially own 7 contributed jack-up rigs (two from Saudi Aramco and five from Rowan) and will manage an additional four Rowan owned jack-ups currently in Saudi Arabia. The total value of initial contributions from both partners through domestic operations, assets, equipment and capital is estimated at over $1.2 billion dollars. In addition, the offshore joint venture has similarly committed to acquire and operate newbuild jack-ups over a 10-year period from an in-Kingdom Maritime complex.

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