Adnoc Drilling has acquired an additional offshore jack-up rig as it continues to expand its rig fleet in line with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s (Adnoc’s) aim to boost oil production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030.

The Adnoc subsidiary said on Wednesday that it has “signed a sales and purchase agreement to acquire an additional premium offshore jack-up drilling unit for US$70 million”.

The company did not disclose the name of the previous rig owner or the operator through which it was acquired.

The contractor has added four jack-up rigs to its fleet in 2022 in three separate transactions. The SPA is the latest signed by the company in recent months, with an agreement for two premium drilling units signed on 30 May and another for one premium drilling unit signed on 10 June, it noted.

Adnoc Drilling said the “four premium offshore drilling units are expected to join the company’s fleet by year-end”, bringing its total offshore jack-up fleet to 28 operational units.

Strategic plans

Adnoc Drilling added that the “cost of the acquisition is part of the company’s three-year guidance on capital expenditure and strategic plans to expand its existing business”.

An anticipated demand for hundreds of wells means the company expects to benefit from Adnoc’s plan to boost oil production capacity to 5 million barrels per day by 2030, up from the existing 4 million bpd capacity.

Adnoc Drilling chief executive Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Seiari said the additional premium drilling unit is central to its growth strategy and that the rig will help the company to deliver on its commitments to shareholders.

In the first half of this year, Adnoc Drilling reported revenues of $1.27 billion while its net income grew by 34% to $379 million compared with the same period last year.

Higher regional demand

Offshore rig demand has picked up in Asia with more units being reactivated, although a large number of these mobilised rigs are intended for operation in the Middle East.

Consultancy Westwood Global Energy said in a recent report that 2022 has witnessed a busier offshore rig market in the Asia-Pacific region, even though local operators are not responsible for all the demand.

Several cold-stacked and stranded newbuild jack-ups are being reactivated for contracts outside the region, primarily in the Middle East.

Six of the 45 contracted or committed rigs that are being marketed in Southeast Asia are destined for Saudi Arabia, according to Westwood.

Fifteen jack-ups will have left Southeast Asia for contracts with Saudi Aramco by late 2022 or early 2023, the consultancy added.

Upstream understands that many of the jack-up rigs abandoned by foreign rig managers or owners are being chartered from Chinese yards for operation in the Middle East.

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