By Astrid Wynne, contributing editor
When it was incorporated in late 2012, Shelf Drilling had a fleet of 38 rigs, acquired from Transocean, with 31 of them in operation. By the end of this year, the company will have 34 rigs in operation, with four stacked units scheduled for upgrades and reactivation. “We anticipate starting a newbuild program in 2014. Two of the four countries we are targeting as part of this growth are in Southeast Asia. We see compelling opportunities in Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” CEO David Mullen told Drilling Contractor.
As of 15 July, 11 of Shelf Drilling’s 33 active rigs were drilling in Southeast Asia – four in Indonesia, three in Thailand, two in Malaysia, and one each in Myanmar and Vietnam. The company notes that it is looking to make a strategic shift by adding one or two rigs to the Vietnamese and Malaysian markets, establishing a more sustained presence in Indonesia and Myanmar, and slightly reduce its presence in Thailand.
“We see considerable near-term demand in Vietnam and Indonesia. Indonesia is becoming increasingly active as the country seeks to increase production and balance the increasing consumer demand to sustain the high level of economic performance over the past few years,” Mr Mullen explained. “We also expect an increase in activity in Malaysia as Petronas seeks to improve recovery from existing near-shore fields through enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques, using the existing developed well infrastructure in the petroleum provinces of East and West Malaysia. This will provoke incremental activity.”
Shelf Drilling currently operates under several contracts inherited from Transocean; however, it recently signed several contracts as well. This includes a five-year contract with Saudi Aramco, a three-year contract with Maersk Oil in Qatar, a one-year contract with a consortium of operators in Indonesia, a one-year contract for three rigs operating in Egypt with Petrobel, and a minimum one-year contract with PVEP POC in Vietnam. Opportunities are also being sought for four stacked rigs – two in Malaysia and one each in Dubai and Egypt.