Kingdom 2 jack-up rig; Source: Lamprell

Newbuild jack-up rig leaves UAE yard and sets sail to Saudi Arabia

UAE-based offshore fabrication contractor Lamprell has completed the construction and delivery of a second of 20 planned newbuild offshore jack-up rigs, destined to work in Saudi Arabian waters to meet the drilling needs of Aramco, the country’s energy heavyweight. This is the UAE player’s 30th newbuild jack-up drilling rig project.

Kingdom 2 jack-up rig; Source: Lamprell

Following the delivery of Kingdom 1 in 2023 and a naming ceremony held at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in the UAE in May 2024, the Kingdom 2 rig has now been formally handed over to International Maritime Industries (IMI), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Lamprell, Bahri, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, to be deployed at the Saudi Arabian market.

Ian Prescott, Lamprell’s CEO, commented: “This milestone represents our mutual commitment to supporting the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030. Saudi Arabia remains a core market for Lamprell, and we look forward to further strengthening our collaboration with IMI and ARO Drilling.

“As a proud shareholder in IMI, Lamprell is committed to developing Saudi Arabia’s maritime industry through our technical partnerships and future rig construction projects. A big thank you to both IMI and ARO Drilling for entrusting Lamprell with this significant project.”

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The jack-up, built collaboratively between Lamprell, IMI, and ARO Drilling, has embarked on its journey to Saudi Arabia. Featuring the LeTourneau Super 116E design, the rig is said to sport high-specification offshore drilling technology with accommodation capacity for up to 120 people.

Dr. Abdullah Al Ahmari, Chief Executive Officer of IMI, remarked: “Today we celebrate a significant achievement for IMI, the delivery of Kingdom 2 to our esteemed client ARO Drilling. The second rig, constructed in collaboration with our technical partner Lamprell, is a testament to IMI’s ever increasing industrial capabilities and the growth of the Saudi maritime industry.

The Kingdom 2 project is perceived to be a significant milestone for ARO Drilling, as this 50/50 joint venture between Valaris and Aramco aims to expand its fleet by 20 rigs over the next decade to advance the Saudi energy sector.

However, aside from orders for the first two rigs, no others have been placed since, thus, Westwood claims that the ordering of the remaining 18 rigs will raise the question of whether there is a need for additional newbuilds.

Mohammed Hejazi, CEO of ARO, highlighted: “ARO drilling continues with momentum with its ambitious 20 rig newbuild program, the Kingdom series. Today, we celebrate the delivery of Kingdom 2 as the rig joins her sister rig Kingdom 1 currently operating for Saudi Aramco. The entire ARO team is committed to ensuring the continued success of our partnership with our in-Kingdom building partner, IMI.

“We recognize this project goes beyond construction of jack up rigs. These are exciting times. We eagerly look forward to the Safe start-up of Kingdom 2 and kicking off the construction of the next Kingdom rigs as we grow our fleet. ARO Drillings Kingdom program with its committed work scope uniquely positions our company for decades.”