Nabors in second acquisition this month with Robotic Drilling Systems buy

The shareholders of Robotic Drilling Systems (RDS) have entered into an agreement to sell all shares in RDS to Nabors Industries.

The company’s main shareholders are Odfjell Drilling, Statoil Technology Invest, Investinor and Westcon.

Norway’s RDS is a developer of a drill-floor solution consisting of robotic technology for fully unmanned drill floor operations. The system handles pipe and tools and the technology can be applied both on pipe-deck and drill-floor on all drilling structures for both land and offshore installations.

The NYSE-listed Nabors owns and operates the world’s largest land-based drilling rig fleet and is also a provider of offshore drilling rigs in the United States and multiple international markets. This is Nabors’ second acquisition this month with the first one being that of Tesco Corporation, the U.S. oilfield services company, announced in mid-August.

Back to shareholders, Odfjell Drilling holds, through its fully owned subsidiary Odfjell Drilling Technology, approximately 37% of the shares in RDS. The transaction will generate an estimated accounting gain for Odfjell Drilling of approximately $11 million, the driller said on Thursday. The full amount will be recognized upon closing which is expected to occur in 3Q 2017. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

As part of the transaction Odfjell Drilling and Nabors have signed a memorandum of understanding with the intention to establish a strategic cooperation agreement which will ensure Odfjell Drilling access to RDS’ robotic technologies for Odfjell Drilling’s existing and future drilling rigs.

Shortly following the transaction, RDS Chief Executive Officer Arild Austigard will return to Odfjell Drilling and Lars Raunholt, founder of RDS, will become the new Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to be a part of Nabors. This will significantly strengthen RDS and, once combined with Nabors’ advanced drilling automation technologies, allow us to better deliver our industry-leading robot technology worldwide,” Raunholt said.

Per Lund, Senior Vice President, Innovation in Odfjell Drilling, said: “We are very pleased to sell RDS to Nabors. In the three years Odfjell Drilling has been a shareholder in RDS, we have worked closely with the company to develop and field-prove its robotic drilling products.

“The company is now at the verge of full scale commercialization and we are confident that Nabors, having a manufacturing group in Canrig, will be a good future home for this exciting technology.”

Nabors’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Anthony G. Petrello, commented: “The addition of RDS’s advanced robotic systems and the expertise resident in its highly capable staff advances our automation initiatives. The addition of RDS along with an ongoing relationship with Odfjell Drilling, provide us with an enhanced gateway to apply our efficiency enhancing technologies to the offshore drilling industry.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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