ADNOC Drilling will maintain a busy schedule with new rigs added, totalling 24 by end of 2023. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Landing $3.4 billion deals from the parent company should - ideally – be enough to keep ADNOC Drilling immersed deep in operations within Abu Dhabi. More so, as the latest contracts have durations stretching all the way up to 15 years.

That may be conventional wisdom, but that’s not necessarily how he wants to masterplan ADNOC Drilling’s next set of moves. “Our technical teams are exploring and progressing several opportunities in key regional markets,” said Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Seiari, CEO. “We will update the market as these opportunities develop.”

Check out a list of the bluest of blue-chip Abu Dhabi corporates and chances are they have either already made the move with overseas projects or will shortly do so. In recent times, Aldar Properties, ADQ, IHC, Alpha Dhabi, and AD Ports Group have done so, while NMDC (National Marine Dredging Co.) and its subsidiary NPCC have widened their reach to Southeast Asia. And Masdar keeps lighting up opportunities in the global renewables space.

So, for ADNOC Drilling to seek potential plays regionally does make a lot of commercial sense. And it’s got the firepower.

“In the first-half of 2022, we invested $285 million as we started to accelerate our rig fleet expansion program, which includes the recent acquisition of eight rigs,” said the CEO. “(This is) bringing our total rig fleet size to 105 at the end of June.

“We expect capex to increase in the second-half of this year and in line with our continued rig acquisition program.

Overall, we expect total capex of $2.5 billion to $3 billion through 2023 with 24 additional rigs joining our fleet by the end of 2023.

- Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Seiari, CEO

Those represent significant capacity expansion, leaving ADNOC Drilling to be ready for projects outside of the country.

Lots keeping it busy

It was early this month ADNOC confirmed the $3.4 billion contracts, valued at $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively. This will see ADNOC Drilling hire the 8 jack-up offshore rigs, for deployment in the offshore fields. “The two contracts (from ADNOC) each have a duration of 15 years and support the expansion of ADNOC’s production capacity to five million barrels per day and enable gas self-sufficiency for the UAE,” said Al Seiari.

ADNOC Drilling already had another two contracts – this time with a combined value of $2 billion for the provision of Island Drilling Units at ADNOC’s Hail and Ghasha Gas Development Project.