Drilling contractor Valaris has started modifying and upgrading some of its rig fleet to reduce emissions, identifying such investments as the focus of its near-term sustainability effort.

Jack-up Valaris 123 is being upgraded with a selective catalytic reduction system designed to eliminate almost all nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions from the rig.

Ahead of this, the drillship Valaris DS-12 recently became the first vessel in the world to receive the ABS enhanced electrical system notation EHS-E.

This system is designed to optimise power plant performance, enabling operations on fewer generators and thereby reducing emissions, according to Valaris interim president Anton Dibowitz.

“In our business, emissions from our drilling rigs currently represent the largest contributor of atmospheric CO2 and are therefore the target of our near-term sustainability effort.

"While we are early on that journey, we have made great strides,” said Dibowitz, making the company's third quarter earnings report.

“As a part of the value chain that delivers affordable energy, we recognize the importance of delivering that energy responsibly.”

Backlog boost

The company added around US$330 million in order backlog in the three months to end-September and more than $2.1 billion in the year to date.

“Over the past several months, we have secured term backlog on four preservation-stacked drillships, highlighting our customers' confidence in our operational capabilities,” Dibowitz said.

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Valaris’ third quarter revenues were $327 million, or $293 million excluding reimbursable items.

The Valaris DS-12 started a new contract early in the third quarter.

Contract drilling expenses increased to $274 million in the three months ended 30 September, although this was partially offset by rig activation costs that declined to $19 million in the third quarter versus $24 million in the three months prior.

Valaris posted a third quarter operating income of $3.4 million, reversing the $28.4 million loss in Q2.

Valaris emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 30 April.