Baker Hughes and Akastor ASA have announced plans to form a joint venture company to provide global offshore drilling solutions.
The new company will combine oilfield services giant Baker Hughes’ subsea drilling systems business unit with investment firm Akastor’s wholly owned drilling solutions subsidiary, MHWirth AS.
The aim is to create a “global full-service offshore drilling equipment offering” that will provide customers with a “broad portfolio” of products and services.
Ownership of the company will be split equally between Baker Hughes and Akastor, with its operations being managed from current offices in Houston and Kristiansand in Norway.
Oil and gas industry veteran Merrill “Pete” Miller will serve as chairman and chief executive officer.
The transaction is expected to go through in the second half of this year after customary conditions and regulatory approvals are met.
The newly formed company will provide a more solid foundation for future growth, including the capability to participate in the oil and gas industry’s transition towards more energy-efficient solutions, Baker Hughes said.
It’s also expected to deploy technologies and service solutions to make the sector more competitive through increased drilling efficiency.
Neil Saunders, executive vice president of Oilfield Equipment at Baker Hughes, said: “The oil and gas industry is rapidly evolving, and we are constantly looking at new and innovative ways of delivering value to our customers.
“This Company is the perfect fit between our respective portfolios and further transforms our core operations for long-term success, bringing complementary solutions to market and offering our customers a full offshore drilling equipment package.”
Karl Erik Kjelstad, CEO of Akastor, said: “I would like to express sincere gratitude to the good work and dedication shown by the respective teams of Baker Hughes and Akastor for making this happen despite the current challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“I strongly believe that this Company will give a solid basis for both organizations to meet the current challenges in today’s market and to continue as a leader in developing advanced and efficient drilling solutions that support the industry’s transition towards more sustainable operations.”
Kristian M. Røkke, chairman of Akastor, added: “This transaction is a major step for MHWirth, and the transformation strategy announced in February 2019.
“The Company will offer customers a strengthened product offering and investors attractive value creation. This transaction will also allow Akastor to maximize, and ultimately realize, value to its shareholders.”