Seadrill and Sonangol form drillship joint venture in Angola

John Fredriksen’s Seadrill has announced the formation of a 50:50 joint venture with Empresa de Serviços e Sondagens de Angola, an affiliate of state-owned Sonangol, which will operate four drillships with a focus on opportunities in Angolan waters.

Both Seadrill and Sonangol will bareboat charter two drillships into the joint venture, named Sonadrill.

Seadrill will use two drillships from its existing fleet, while Sonangol will contribute the Libongos and Quenguela, both currently under construction at DSME in South Korea with delivery set for the second half of this year.

Seadrill will manage and operate the four drillships on behalf of the joint venture, which will have an initial term of five years.

Anton Dibowitz, CEO of Seadrill, commented: “We are excited to have been selected by Sonangol to manage their newbuild drillships and to partner with them in pursuing opportunities in this important deepwater basin. Sonadrill will give us the opportunity to gain incremental access to a market that is expected to show significant growth over the next years, further strengthen our relationship with key customers and provides an attractive opportunity to continue expanding our fleet of premium ultra-deepwater rigs.”

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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