Rowan Considers Buying Maersk Drilling

File image courtesy Maersk

By The Maritime Executive 09-25-2017 07:03:08

Houston-based Rowan Drilling is said to be looking at the possibility of buying Maersk Group's drilling division, one of four energy-related assets that Maersk plans to sell or spin off. 

According to Bloomberg, Maersk Drilling and its 24 rigs could be worth as much as $4 billion – much more than Rowan itself, which has a market value of $1.4 billion. Maersk Drilling turned a $750 million profit last year, a significant addition to Maersk Group's bottom line. 

Maersk intends to divest its energy-related units in order to refocus on its core ocean carrier, ports and logistics businesses. So far, it has sold Maersk Oil to Total for $7.5 billion and Maersk Tankers to Maersk's largest shareholder for $1.1 billion. Maersk Supply, the firm's PSV division, is also likely to be spun off or sold. 

Rowan has other expansion plans in motion: in November, it partnered with Saudi Aramco to form a new drilling company that owns and operates rigs in Saudi Arabia. The JV is based on Rowan's own Saudi business division, and its assets include three jackups from Rowan and two from Aramco, plus two more Rowan rigs that will be reassigned in late 2018. Future rigs will be ordered from Aramco's soon-to-be-built mega-shipyard at Ras Al Khair. 

“The drilling JVs are anchor projects that grew out of Saudi Aramco’s upstream oil field services and equipment industry strategy which supports the wider development and localization of industries [including] the maritime manufacturing complex," said AbdulHameed A. Al Rushaid, Aramco's executive director for drilling and workover.