Maersk Drilling ditches Egyptian joint venture to focus on offshore drilling

Danish offshore driller Maersk Drilling is getting rid of its shareholding in Egyptian Drilling Company (EDC) to focus on offshore drilling market. 

A.P. Møller – Mærsk and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) on Monday signed an agreement whereby EGPC will acquire A.P. Moller – Maersk’s 50 percent shareholding in Egyptian Drilling Company (EDC) for $100 million in an all-cash transaction.

Following the transaction, EGPC will become the sole owner of EDC and will as part of the agreement take over the entire portfolio, obligations and rights, Maersk said on Monday.

EDC is a drilling operator in the Middle East and operates 70 rigs in total of which the vast majority are land based drilling rigs. The divestment of EDC is in line with Maersk Drilling’s strategy to focus on offshore drilling in the harsh environment and deepwater markets, the company explained.

“The divestment is a natural consequence of our announced long-term plans to exit the EDC joint venture, when the timing was right. EDC has a very strong position in the Middle East, and I am confident that the new ownership will enable EDC to develop its business and capabilities even further,” says Jørn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.

EDC began operations in 1976 as a 50/50 joint venture between Maersk Drilling and EGPC, which is owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in Egypt. EDC employs approximately 5,000 people, whereof 34 are Maersk Drilling employees. Maersk Drilling is currently looking into future job opportunities for its employees in EDC.

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