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Rowan, Saudi Aramco to form JV to operate offshore drilling rigs

* Rowan-Saudi Aramco joint venture for offshore drilling rigs in Saudi

* Operations to begin in the second quarter of 2017

* Saudi Aramco is set for the world’s largest IPO in 2018

Rowan Companies Plc said it was forming a joint venture with Saudi Arabian state oil giant Saudi Aramco to operate offshore drilling rigs in the country.

Rowan said it would provide three jack-up rigs and Saudi Aramco two when the joint venture begins operations in the second quarter of 2017.

Both companies would contribute $25 million as working capital, Rowan said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Rowan will supply two more rigs in late 2018 and Saudi Aramco will make a matching cash contribution.

Rowan said 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.

Nabors Industries Ltd had said last month that it would form a joint venture with Saudi Aramco to operate onshore drilling rigs.

Saudi Aramco is targeting 2018 for what could be the world’s largest public listing, Chief executive Amin Nasser said in October.