ARO Drilling has been given six three-year drilling contracts by Saudi Aramco to be carried out by Rowan jack-up rigs, which are currently operating in Saudi Arabia.


Image: Saudi Aramco gives six jackup contracts to ARO Drilling . Photo: courtesy of Eagleamn/

The new drilling contracts will come into force after completion of the rigs’ current contracts later this year.

ARO Drilling is a 50/50 joint venture formed by contract drilling services provider Rowan Companies and Saudi Aramco. The company owns five self-elevating jack-up rigs that operate in the Arabian Gulf, with two more rigs to be added to its fleet in late 2018.

According to Rowan, the Rowan Middletown, Charles Rowan, and Arch Rowan jack-up rigs are anticipated to be leased to ARO Drilling in September. The Rowan Mississippi, on the other hand, is likely to be leased to its joint venture in December to fulfill the new drilling contracts.

Rowan also revealed that the Scooter Yeargain and Hank Boswell jack-up rigs which will be sold to ARO Drilling in October will immediately begin their new drilling contracts following the rig ownership transfer to the joint venture.

Rowan president and CEO Tom Burke said: “Our partnership with Saudi Aramco in ARO Drilling and our operational track record in the Middle East have paved the way for this award of eighteen years of jack-up backlog.

“We believe these six three-year contract awards, and the five three-year contracts awarded earlier this year, continue to demonstrate the value ARO Drilling will create over the coming years.”

In mid-June, ARO Drilling was awarded a three-year contract by Saudi Aramco for the Bob Palmer, a Super Gorilla XL Class jack-up rig. The company said that it is leasing the Bob Palmer rig from its co-owner Rowan to carry out operations in Saudi Arabia.

ARO Drilling had also made a commitment to buy 20 jack-up rigs to be built by a Saudi Aramco manufacturing joint venture. The new jack-up rigs are slated to be delivered to ARO Drilling between 2021 and 2030.

The ARO Drilling joint venture was announced in November 2016 with an aim to own, operate, and manage offshore drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia.