Saudi Aramco has awarded the local/Chinese ZP Arabia Drilling Company (ZPADCO)seven contracts totalling more than $185 million to supply and operate seven onshore oil drilling rigs in the kingdom. The awards bring the total number of drilling rig contracts awarded by Aramco to ZPADCO this year to 11.
Under the terms of the new contracts, ZPADCO will mobilise the rigs from China and operate them for a three-year base period, with the option for a further one-year extension. The rigs all range from 1,000-2,000 hp. In October, ZPADCO, a joint venture of Sinopec subsidiary ZPEB International and the local Al-Rafid Trading Company, was awarded four similar contracts to deploy two 1,500 hp, one 1,000 hp and one 750 hp rigs across the kingdom (MEED 14:10:05). Aramco aims to drill 500 wells a year to meet its production target of 12.5 million barrels a day by 2010. To do this, it plans to have more than 120 rigs in operation by the end of 2006. In August, the US' Rowan Companieswas awarded a three-year drilling contract to supply and operate five class 116-c jack-up drilling rigs, while in July Canada's Precision Drilling International (PDI) won an estimated $50 million contract to supply and operate two 2,000-hp deepwater drilling wells in the kingdom (MEED 12:8:05; 29:7:05).