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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Esgian Week 20 Report: Update on Saudi Suspensions

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 19, 2024

© namning / Adobe Stock

© namning / Adobe Stock

Esgian provides an update on Saudi suspensions in its Week 20 Rig Analytics Market Roundup.

Report Summary


Drilling contractor Arabian Drilling confirmed that the suspension of three contracts for its jackups with Saudi Aramco have yet to be finalised but are expected to take effect towards the end of the third quarter of 2024. CEO Ghassan Mirdad stated that the company is actively exploring opportunities to redeploy these rigs with other clients. Arabian Drilling announced in April that it was in discussions with Saudi Aramco for contract suspensions of up to 12 months for three of its jackups. Arabian Drilling is one of several drilling contractors affected by Aramco’s recent decision to suspend 22 jackup contracts as the Saudi Arabian state oil company cuts back on a planned expansion of capacity. Arabian Drilling reported 100% utilisation for its offshore rig fleet during the first quarter of 2024. The company has 11 jackups, nine of which are currently working for Aramco and two working for Al-Khafji Joint Operations.

Drilling contractor ADES has signed a firm jackup rig contract with Thailand's PTTEP, following a letter of intent announced in March.

Shelf Drilling has confirmed that the 350-ft jackup Shelf Drilling Achiever, the 375-ft Shelf Drilling Victory, and the 300-ft Main Pass I and Main Pass IV were its units that received notices of suspension from Saudi Aramco in April. As of May 2024, all four units have commenced their suspension periods, which can last for up to 12 months.

Diamond Offshore Drilling has secured a two-year contract extension with Occidental subsidiary Anadarko Petroleum Corporation in the US GOM for the 12,000-ft drillship Ocean BlackHawk.

Drilling Activity and Discoveries

Mubadala Energy has announced another significant gas discovery in the South Andaman block in Indonesia. The company said Monday it had found gas while drilling the Tangkulo-1 exploration well, drilled about 65 kilometres offshore North Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has given PGNiG Upstream Norway consent for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea. The consent relates to drilling operations on the Tomcat 6305/10-1 well, which is located in production licence PL 1055.

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has given Aker BP consent for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea. The consent is related to drilling operations on the Storjo West 6507/2-7 S well located in production licence PL 261, which is operated by Aker BP with Wintershall Dea Norge participating as a partner.

ExxonMobil has discovered hydrocarbons at the Likembe-01 well on Block 15 offshore Angola.

Petronas has made a new discovery in Block 52 offshore Suriname with the Fusaea-1 exploration well.


Partner Harbour Energy said that front end engineering design (FEED) for the Zama project offshore Mexico will begin shortly, with contractor bids being evaluated.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has cancelled its tender to contract three HPHT jackups for three years.

The Indonesian energy ministry has launched an oil and gas bidding round, offering five working areas, in its push to boost exploration and production to meet the country's energy needs. It has also signed two Production Sharing Contracts.

Mobilisation/Rig Moves

Odfjell Drilling-managed 10,000-ft semisubmersible Hercules is moving out of Namibian waters, ahead of an expected return to Canada to drill for Equinor.

ADES' 375-ft jackup Emerald Driller left Qatar on Sunday, 12 May, and is now on its way to Indonesia.

Borr Drilling 400-ft jackup Arabia I has been mobilised to Bahrain's Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard Company (ASRY).

Diamond Offshore’s 3,000-ft semisub Ocean Patriot has completed its contract with Serica Energy in the UK sector of the North Sea.

The Odfjell Technology-managed 450-ft jackup Linus has demobilised from its offshore location at the Eldfisk Sierra field in the Norwegian North Sea to a yard in Norway for its special periodic survey (SPS) work.

Seadrill 12,000-ft semisubmersible Sevan Louisiana has commenced a contract for well intervention work with Walter Oil & Gas in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Shelf Drilling 300-ft jackup Trident VIII suffered structural damage in April 2024 while working for Chevron offshore Nigeria.

Rig Sales

Seadrill has agreed to sell three jackup rigs and its 50% stake in the joint venture that operates these rigs offshore Qatar to its joint venture partner Gulf Drilling International (GDI) for $338 million.

Other News

Madeleine King, Australian government's Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, released the Future Gas Strategy that envisions gas as an important energy source to 2050 and beyond, as a means to support the country's transition to net zero and calls for continued gas exploration.

Dolphin Drilling and General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) have both filed requests for arbitration related to the recent termination of the contract for the 6,000-ft semisubmersible Blackford Dolphin offshore Nigeria.

The regulatory approval of the Field Development Plan (FDP) for NEO Energy’s Buchan Horst project in the UK North Sea is targeted for the second half of 2024.

QatarEnergy has signed a farm-in agreement with ExxonMobil to acquire a 40% participating interest in two exploration blocks offshore Egypt.
ADES Holding Company (ADES) reported revenues of SAR 1.5 billion in 1Q 2024, an increase of 60.5% year over year.

UAE-based drilling contractor ADNOC Drilling's jackup rig segment experienced a 51% revenue jump and a 77% net profit rise in the first quarter of 2024, boosted by higher activity from additional jackup rigs in the fleet.

Equinor and Petoro have entered into a value-neutral asset swap agreement in the Haltenbanken area offshore Norway.

Seadrill reported operating profit of $80 million and adjusted EBITDA of $124 million on $367 million of revenue for the first quarter of 2024, compared to operating profit of $52 million, adjusted EBITDA of $42 million and revenues of $408 million in fourth quarter 2023.

Odfjell Drilling has noted a cost increase for the upcoming special periodic surveys (SPSs) for its semisubmersible rigs, currently operating in Norway.

Odfjell Drilling has recorded an increase in its profit and revenues in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year with all four owned units fully booked until 2026.

Jackup drilling contractor Shelf Drilling reported net income attributable to controlling interests of $4.4 million, adjusted revenues of $251.5 million and adjusted EBITDA of $80 million for the first quarter of 2024.

Indonesia's national oil and gas company, Pertamina, and the U.S.-based oil major, ExxonMobil, have signed a preliminary agreement to develop a CCS/CCUS hub in the Asri Basin, located in the shallow waters of the Java Sea, southeast of Sumatra.

Oil major Chevron has completed a portfolio review and decided to initiate the process of marketing its 19.4% non-operated working interest in the bp-operated Clair field and associated assets in the UK North Sea.