Valaris has signed new bareboat charter agreements under its Saudi Arabian joint venture with Saudi Aramco — ARO Drilling — for multiple jack-up rigs.

ARO Drilling has also signed contracts with Aramco for the same periods as the bareboat charter agreements.

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The rigs include the Valaris JU-250, the JU-116, JU-143, and JU-146. The three-year extensions will begin on completion of existing agreements with ARO in December 2021.

ARO-owned rigs ARO 3003 and ARO 3004 have been awarded five-year contract extensions with Aramco that will also begin in December 2021.

Valaris’ president and chief executive Anton Dibowitz said: “We are very pleased to have secured additional work for four of our high-quality modern jack-ups, extending our long-standing relationship with Aramco, one of the largest customers for offshore drilling rigs in the world.

“ARO Drilling is a strategic asset for Valaris, providing a continued presence in an important offshore basin and long-term growth prospects via ARO’s 20-rig newbuild programme, with the first two newbuild jack-ups expected to be delivered in the second half of 2022.”

The JU-250 is described as a heavy-duty, ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig capable of operating in 168 metres of water and drilling to depths of 10,668 metres.

The JU-116 is a heavy-duty, ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig capable of operating in 131 metres of water and drilling to depths of 10,668 metres.

The JU-143 and JU-146 rigs are standard modern duty jack-up rigs capable of drilling to depths of 10,668 metres. The JU-143 is capable of operating in a maximum of 127 metres of water, while the JU-146 is capable of operating in 117 metres of water.

ARO is a 50:50 joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Valaris.