ADNOC Drills Up $733 Million Contract for AI-Powered Island Rigs

Abu Dhabi's state-owned drilling company, ADNOC Drilling, has secured a significant contract worth approximately $733 million for three cutting-edge island drilling rigs. These rigs will bolster operations at the offshore Zakum field, a prolific oil and gas producer for the emirate.

The new rigs will be constructed on existing and newly developed artificial islands, strategically positioned for optimal drilling and well completion within the Zakum field. Equipped with next-generation technology and automation systems, these rigs are poised to be the world's most advanced. Notably, they will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI), an innovation that ADNOC Drilling considers a "transformative technology. "

This substantial award marks a major milestone for ADNOC Drilling's growth trajectory, according to Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Seiari, the company's CEO. Al Seiari expressed his honor in receiving the contract, highlighting the role it plays in accelerating the company's development. The advanced features of these rigs are expected to enhance safety standards and expedite well delivery times.

The artificial islands themselves offer a distinct advantage for extended reach drilling (ERD), a technique used to access oil and gas reserves located far from the rig. Notably, five of the world's longest wells have already been drilled from these very islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

While the total capital expenditure for acquiring the new rigs is estimated at $210 million, the investment is primarily concentrated in 2025. The first full year of revenue generation from these rigs is anticipated for 2027. With the addition of these three island rigs and three previously announced land rigs dedicated to unconventional development, ADNOC Drilling's fleet is projected to reach at least 148 rigs by 2026.

This significant investment in AI-powered rigs underscores ADNOC Drilling's commitment to technological innovation and its strategic focus on optimizing operational efficiency within the oil and gas sector. The integration of AI is expected to play a crucial role in driving further advancements in drilling techniques and overall well performance.

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