Kingdom 2 jack-up rig; Source: ARO Drilling

Second jack-up out of 20 planned newbuild rigs gets its naming ceremony (Gallery)

ARO Drilling, a 50/50 joint venture between Valaris and Aramco, has held a naming ceremony, together with International Maritime Industries (IMI), for a second of 20 planned newbuild Saudi-operated and manufactured offshore jack-up rigs, which the offshore drilling player intends to bring into its fold to meet Aramco’s drilling needs.

Kingdom 2 jack-up rig; Source: ARO Drilling

ARO Drilling struck a deal with Aramco in 2018 to provide 20 new jack-ups over ten years, putting International Maritime Industries (IMI), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Lamprell, Bahri, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, in charge of building the rigs, while a new design was developed in collaboration with GustoMSC and Lamprell.

Following a delay in the completion of the new shipyard in Saudi Arabia, the delivery of the first two rigs, slated for 2022, was bumped to 2023. After ARO entered into a $359 million term loan with a syndicate of local Saudi Arabian banks in October 2023 to pay the remaining shipyard purchase price for the first two jack-ups, the naming ceremony for the Kingdom 1 jack-up rig was held in November 2023 at the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services, in Ras Al Khair.

While the Kingdom 1 jack-up rig was scheduled to begin its initial eight-year contract with Aramco in the fourth quarter of 2023, the Kingdom 2 jack-up rig was expected to be delivered and embark on its inaugural deal with the Saudi oil and gas heavyweight in the first quarter of 2024. According to IMI, the Kingdom 2 jack-up rig had its naming ceremony on Monday, May 20.

“Today marks a new milestone for International Maritime Industries and ARO Drilling as we celebrate the naming ceremony of Kingdom 2, our second jack-up rig. This achievement a testament to our unwavering partnership and commitment to excellence, propels us closer to our shared vision of advancing the Saudi energy sector. Congratulations to all involved in this remarkable journey of innovation and collaboration,” outlined IMI.

Recently, several rig owners received temporary suspensions of operations in the Middle East for one or more jack-ups in their fleets working for Aramco. Aside from Valaris’ ARO Drilling, ADES, COSL, Arabian Drilling, Borr Drilling,  and Shelf Drilling were also presented with contract suspensions.