Rockwell launches joint venture for oil and gas industry, invests $250M

Rockwell Automation Inc. has launched a joint venture with an oil and gas company to create an automation solution for that industry.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell (NYSE: ROK) will partner with Houston-based Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) to create Sensia, the oil and gas industry’s first fully integrated automation solutions provider, according to a company news release Tuesday. Sensia will operate as an independent entity, with Rockwell owning 53 percent and Schlumberger 47 percent. Rockwell will pay Schlumberger $250 million in cash at closing.

The Rockwell news release estimates that Sensia, which will be based in Houston, will employ 1,000 people serving customers in 80 countries and generate annual revenue of $400 million. According to Rockwell chairman and CEO Blake Moret, Sensia will provide complete lifecycle and process automation solutions “from well to terminal.”

“Oilfield operators strive to maximize the value of their investments by safely reducing the time from drilling to production, optimizing output of conventional and unconventional wells, and extending well life,” Moret said. “Currently, no single provider exists that offers the end-to-end solutions and technology platform that address these challenges. Sensia will be uniquely positioned to connect disparate assets and reduce manual processes with secure, scalable solutions that are integrated into one technology platform.”

Allan Rentcome, Rockwell’s director of global technology – systems and solutions business, will serve as Sensia’s CEO. Rentcome is a 10-year Rockwell veteran with previous oil and gas industry experience in Houston.

Schlumberger chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard said the venture will create a “leading technology provider” for the industry.

“This joint venture is the next step in our vision to offer our customers smart, connected devices with rich diagnostic capabilities, coupled with measurement, automation and analytics that improve oilfield operations, facilitate business decisions and reduce total cost of ownership throughout the life of a field,” he said.


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