Number of offshore and onshore rigs in Saudi Arabia as of mid-2014210
Number of Seadrill offshore rigs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait6
A safe and sound market in Saudi ArabiaNovember 26, 2015
Seadrill’s senior vice-president for the Middle East and Africa, Silvio Bresciani, speaks to TOGY about Saudi Arabia’s offshore production potential and its commitment to increase production, as well as how rigs with new technology are improving operational efficiency and safety. Seadrill is an offshore drilling company that provides semi-submersible rigs, jack-ups and drillships to oil and gas companies.
What are the main challenges in finding the potential offshore resources in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia’s offshore reserves are immense. Therefore, the production potential is very high. To unlock this potential, national oil company Saudi Aramco is contracting more rigs to maintain its exploration and development campaign. As of the middle of 2014, Saudi Arabia has around 210 onshore and offshore rigs in total, with the prospects that it may increase its rig count in the future.
Saudi Aramco’s operational and safety standards are high. This attracts competent services companies and talent to the country and guarantees the future of the industry.
What opportunities do you see for drilling companies operating offshore Saudi Arabia?
The offshore market in Saudi Arabia is very attractive. In 2015, the majority of offshore rigs are jack-ups. I hope that in the near future we will see some activity in the Red Sea, where floaters will also be utilised, presenting further opportunities to drilling companies.
What role do health and safety regulations play in the utilisation of drilling technologies?
Saudi Aramco has a visible commitment to improving the technology used across the country’s oil and gas industry in order to improve safety conditions, productivity and efficiency.
The health and safety of employees is a primary concern for drilling contractors. The newer generation of floaters and jack-up rigs incorporate new technology that removes employees from harms way, thus reducing their exposure to incidents. People can control and operate various tools remotely and avoid direct interaction with potentially dangerous equipment, improving overall safety.
How would you characterise the regulatory framework in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is well regulated. Seadrill has been operating there for around three years now and we see it as an area of opportunity for growth. Saudi Aramco is a solid business partner and we envisage companies growing their business in the coming years by bringing in new rigs into their operations.
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