Nabors Adds Robotic Drilling Systems


The main shareholders of Robotic Drilling Systems AS (RDS) Odfjell Drilling, Statoil Technology Invest, Investinor and Westcon have entered into an agreement to sell 100 % of the RDS shares to Nabors Industries (Nabors).

As part of the transaction, the largest shareholder in RDS prior to the transaction, Odfjell Drilling and Nabors have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the intention of establishing a strategic relationship whereby Nabors would provide Odfjell Drilling ongoing access to RDS’s robotic technologies for their existing and future rigs.

Following the transaction, RDS chief executive officer Arild Austigard will return to Odfjell Drilling and Lars Raunholt, founder of RDS, will become the new CEO. “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: “We are very pleased to sell RDS to Nabors. In the 3 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 commercialisation 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 CEO, Anthony G. Petrello, stated: “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.”

The RDS technology development has been supported by The Research Council of Norway (Petromaks and Demo2000) and Innovasjon Norge.

Simmons & Company International, Energy Specialists of Piper Jaffray, served as the exclusive financial advisor to RDS in the transaction.

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