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IMI and ARO Drilling introduce locally made offshore jack-up rig

ARO Drilling and IMI announce first Kingdom jack up rig (Image source: ARO)


International Maritime Industries (IMI), the largest shipyard in the MENA region, and ARO Drilling, a prominent player in the offshore drilling sector and a joint venture between Aramco and Valaris, have announced the delivery and naming ceremony for their first jack up rig, Kingdom-1 

This milestone underscores the robust and long-term partnership between IMI and ARO Drilling, and their commitment to driving the growth and development of the Saudi energy sector.

Designed to the Letourneau Super 116E Class standard, Kingdom-1 is a key addition to ARO Drilling's growing fleet, cementing their position as a one-of-a-kind drilling contractor in Saudi Arabia.

The construction of Kingdom-1 in Hamriyah, UAE, in collaboration with IMI's long-term partner, Lamprell, demonstrates IMI's commitment to excellence and industry-leading standards. These rigs showcase IMI's extensive engineering and manufacturing capabilities and the invaluable knowledge exchange between experts from all parties.

Ahmad Al Sa’adi, chairman of IMI, said: 'Kingdom-1 is a testament to the successful cultivation of world-class, resilient, localised capability, supporting high-value job creation and the diversification of our national economy. This is the first new build Offshore Jack-Up rig delivered by Saudi Arabia’s International Maritime Industries and marks the arrival of an internationally competitive, homegrown Saudi maritime industry.'

Dr. Abdullah Al Ahmari, chief executive officer of IMI, said, "This achievement marks a pivotal moment in our strategic plans and symbolizes the strength of our collaboration with ARO Drilling. We are making strides towards our localization goals and spearheading the development of the Saudi maritime industry. The successful completion of the naming ceremony serves as a testament to the dedication and expertise of our teams, and we are looking forward to triumphing more key milestones with ARO Drilling in the near future."

Mohamed Hegazi, chief executive officer of ARO Drilling, said, "This is an extremely proud moment for us all. The delivery and naming ceremony of Kingdom-1 signals the beginning of an ambitious long-term partnership with IMI to construct 20 offshore rigs in-Kingdom. This significant and unprecedented investment uniquely positions ARO to be the best-in-class drilling contractor for decades to come, and enhances localisation of the energy sector value chain. We are equally excited with the positive impact on the development of local talent and communities. Finally, my congratulations to the project teams who executed this impressive achievement!"

IMI's commitment to localisation is evident through the involvement of Saudi nationals in the construction of jack up rigs, boosting job creation and the local economy. The construction of Kingdom-1 not only showcases Saudi Arabia's burgeoning capabilities in offshore rig manufacturing and maintenance but also ensures the sustainability and exponential growth of the maritime sector.

IMI and ARO Drilling remain dedicated to nurturing Saudi youth by providing unparalleled training and development opportunities. During this project, 69 apprentices and 18 young engineers have gained invaluable training and employment opportunities, contributing to the creation of a highly skilled local workforce.

Nasir K. Al-Naimi, Aramco upstream president, said, "Bringing the capabilities in-Kingdom to design and produce a rig of this caliber is demonstrative of the lengths to which Aramco Upstream, and our partners, are willing to go to ensure an ever more competitive, reliable, and sophisticated domestic energy sector, while simultaneously expanding our possibilities in the offshore domain."

The successful delivery and naming ceremony also mark a historic milestone for ARO Drilling and IMI, setting the stage for forthcoming achievements. This collaboration will continue to foster strategic partnerships, drive localization initiatives, propel the Saudi maritime industry and create considerable demand for drilling eco-services.