Photo: Image Source: Rowan (The image has been cropped)

Rowan leases four rigs to ARO for new Saudi Aramco drilling deals

U.S. offshore driller Rowan will lease four of its idle jack-up rigs to ARO Drilling to fulfill four three-year contracts that ARO Drilling has been awarded by Saudi Aramco.

Rowan President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Burke said the company’s partnership with Saudi Aramco in ARO Drilling and Rowan’s operational track record in the Middle East paved the way for these awards.

Burke said: “We are pleased with this significant addition to our backlog. We believe these awards demonstrate the value ARO Drilling will create over the coming years.”

ARO Drilling is a drilling contractor established in October 2017 as a 50/50 joint venture between Rowan and Saudi Aramco

Under the deal announced by Rowan on Monday, ARO Drilling will lease the EXL I, EXL IV, Bess Brants and Earnest Dees (formerly named P-59 and P-60, respectively) rigs from Rowan through a bareboat charter lease mechanism.

The contracts are expected to start the third quarter 2018 for the EXL I and EXL IV, and late 2018 or early 2019 timeframe for the Bess Brants and Earnest Dees.

Rowan said it would prepare the rigs for operations, including all contractually required modifications, and then lease the rigs to ARO Drilling who will operate the rigs in Saudi Arabia. The contracts for the four rigs have been awarded and are in the process of being finalized.

Rowan of Friday said it started mobilizing the Bess Brants and Earnest Dees jack-up rigs to the Middle East from Brazil. The two rigs departed Brazil onboard the Dockwise Mighty Servant 1 heavy lift vessel on April 28 and are expected to arrive in Dubai in June 2018.

Burke said he was confident the Bess Brants and Earnest Dees would serve Rowan well in the Middle East.

“These modern assets will integrate seamlessly into our existing fleet and help renew our fleet following the divestiture of our oldest jack-ups over the past three years,” he said.

The Bess Brants and Earnest Dees are LeTourneau Super 116E jack-up rigs that were both delivered new into service in 2013 and were purchased from a subsidiary of Petrobras.

Offshore Energy Today Staff