MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian state energy giant Rosneft said Friday it had agreed to swap assets and purchase shares in Norway's North Atlantic Drilling (NADL).
In a statement posted on its website, the top Russian crude producer said the agreement it had signed with NADL and an offshore drilling company, Seadrill, foresaw “the acquisition by Rosneft of NADL shares through an exchange of assets and investments in NADL charter capital.”
It also said the accord left open the possibility of Rosneft's increase in its NADL stake “according to the development of the cooperation.”
The Russian energy major added that the amount of its cash contribution to NADL’s charter capital would be defined upon receiving corporate and accountant’s approvals by the end of 2014.
Commenting on the signing, Rosneft President Igor Sechin said the company hoped to “notably strengthen its positions on the market of high-technology oilfield services alongside with world’s sector leaders.”
NADL head Alf Ragnar Lovdal said he was “very pleased with the execution of this important transaction and welcome Rosneft as an equity partner and to our board of directors.”
NADL, a leading drilling company with extensive experience of working in harsh climate conditions, has its shares listed on the NYSE and Norwegian OTC with a market capitalization of about $2.4 billion. About 70.4 percent of its shares belong to Seadrill.
The agreement will allow Rosneft to acquire a fleet of offshore platforms. Rosneft is currently mulling the purchase of six offshore drilling rigs until 2022. It is using one of NADL’s semi-submersible rigs, West Alpha, to drill at Russia’s northernmost well, Universitetskaya-1, together with US oil giant ExxonMobil.
The agreement comes despite US and EU sanctions over Ukraine, which earlier banned Western producers of high-tech oil equipment from exporting their technologies to Russia.