Photo: Valaris JU-250; Source: ARO Drilling

Valaris scores jack-up extension in Saudi Arabia

Offshore drilling contractor Valaris Limited has been awarded an extension for one of its jack-up drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia.

Valaris said on Tuesday that it won a 200-day extension to its bareboat charter agreement with ARO Drilling for the Valaris JU-250 (Bob Palmer), a heavy-duty ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig.

According to the company, the extension is in direct continuation of the existing contract and, as a result, the Valaris JU-250 is now expected to be under contract through the end of 2021.

The offshore driller added that ARO Drilling’s contract with Aramco for the rig had been extended for the same period.

ARO Drilling was formed as a 50/50 joint venture between Rowan and Saudi Aramco to own, operate, and manage offshore drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia. It started operations in October 2017.

In June 2018, Rowan – the company which merged with Ensco to create Valaris – leased out the Valarus JU-250, or as it was then known Bob Palmer, to ARO Drilling for three years.

The rig immediately won a deal with Saudi Aramco for the same amount of time. That was also the latest deal with the Saudi giant and the deal was supposed to end this month.

The JU-250 has a long working relationship with Saudi Aramco as it has been working for the company for nearly a decade. Its first contract with the Saudi company, according to VesselsValue data was in August 2011.

Apart from the Saudi oil company, the only other companies to take the rig on for work since it was launched in 2006 were BP, Dominion, Petrobras, and LLOG Exploration.

In recent company news, Valaris won several rig deals in the past month. Namely, its JU-110 rig was awarded a three-year contract with North Oil Company offshore Qatar, it won a contract extension with Equinor for the JU-291 jack-up, a one-well contract for a drillship with TotalEnergies, and a deal with W&T Offshore for the JU-117.