US Rowan Companies Plc announced that it was forming a joint venture (JV) with Saudi Arabian state oil giant Saudi Aramco. Both companies would contribute $25m as working capital under the terms of the agreement to create a 50/50 joint venture to own, operate, and manage offshore drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia. The newly established joint venture is expected to start by the second quarter of 2017, reported Reuters.

Rowan would provide three jack-up rigs and Aramco two , once operations begin. In addition, the company will supply two more rigs in late 2018 and Aramco will make matching cash contribution. , according to PR News Wire. Furthermore, Rowan stated that the rigs would receive contracts for an aggregate 15 years, renewed and re-priced every three years, provided that the rigs meet the technical and operational requirements of Saudi Aramco.

In related news, Aramco had signed an agreement in early November to form a new joint venture to manage and operate onshore drilling rigs with the Anglo Energy company, Nabors. The joint venture, which will be equally owned by Aramco and Nabors, was anticipated to be formed and commence operations in the second quarter of 2017.