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China Merchants Explores Offshore Rig Operator Deals

State-owned conglomerate China Merchants Group is exploring acquisitions of offshore rig operators, which have struggled to recover from a collapse in oil-industry spending, people with knowledge of the matter said.

As part of this analysis, the Chinese firm has looked at various assets and companies including Seadrill Ltd. and Shelf Drilling Ltd., the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Deliberations are at an early stage, and China Merchants hasn’t made any formal offers, according to the people. It may opt to pick off assets as opposed to full takeovers, the people said.

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