New rig design selected for ARO Drilling’s newbuild program

International Maritime Industries (IMI) and Saudi Aramco Rowan Offshore Drilling Company (ARO Drilling) have selected a new LJ43 rig design for ARO Drilling’s newbuild program.

IMI is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Lamprell, Bahri and Hyundai Heavy Industries, officially launched in January 2018. The JV will be responsible for the management of the multi-billion dollar maritime and offshore yard being built in Saudi Arabia’s Ras Al-Khair, which is expected to be partially operational by 2019 with full functionality reached by 2022.

IMI, located in The King Salman Complex for International Maritime Industries & Services at Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia, will be the largest, full service maritime facility in MENA.

ARO Drilling, a joint venture between Rowan and Saudi Aramco, said earlier this week that the new rig design was developed in collaboration with GustoMSC and Lamprell. It was previously announced that IMI will build 20 rigs over the next 10-years for ARO Drilling.

IMI’s annual capacity will be four newbuild offshore rigs and over 43 new build vessels including VLCCs, in addition to servicing more than 260 maritime products.

The parties will start contract negotiation in due course, ARO Drilling added.

ARO Drilling will be the first company to take delivery of the LJ43 rigs designed specifically for the regional operating conditions and built at the new IMI Maritime Yard at Ras Al-Khair. It is anticipated that engineering, procurement and construction of the first rig will begin in July 2018.

Kelly McHenry, CEO of ARO Drilling, stated “We are very excited about the potential for these rigs given our expectation for continued oil and gas growth and development in the Kingdom and with Saudi Aramco. The LJ43 enables highly efficient drilling through new technology, including the X-Y cantilever which has a new innovative blowout preventer handling system and enhanced skidding capabilities.”

“We are excited to begin our rig building operations constructing these advanced drilling rigs for ARO Drilling,” said Fathi K. Al-Saleem, IMI Chief Executive Officer.

“The long-term partnership we have in place will enable ARO Drilling to realize a more attractive return on investment and competitive lifecycle costs from our localized supply chain ecosystem and cutting-edge technology,” continued Al-Saleem.

Offshore Energy Today Staff