ABU DHABIWith the inauguration of the high-tech jack-up rig Al Lulu, National Drilling Company (NDC), an Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group company, has celebrated the completion of its AED6 billion acquisition of nine state-of-the-art offshore rigs.

The celebration, which took place in the Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah on Thursday, in the presence of Sheikh Salem bin Abdulrahman Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Ruler's Office, underpins the continuous commitment of ADNOC Group companies to fuel the local economy and support socio-economic growth in Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.

Abdalla Saeed Al Suwaidi, NDC Chief Executive Officer said, "We continuously upgrade our capabilities to deliver top tier, diversified, and sustainable drilling services, at competitive cost to our clients across the ADNOC Group of Companies.

"These rigs are equipped with innovative technology including joy stick operated cyber chairs with integrated equipment consoles for the rig operators and are designed to suit the specific needs of Abu Dhabi. Their flexibility caters to the wide-range of drilling operation requirements of our clients, which enables greater efficiency and helps further improve the profitability of ADNOC Group companies."

Al Lulu is the final rig in this strategic mega project launched in 2010, and focussed on building world-class rigs with latest drilling system technology in the UAE. The project makes the UAE the first, and only, country in the region capable of building such high-tech oil and gas rigs, tailored to the specific offshore environments in Abu Dhabi waters.

The previous eight rigs joined NDC's fleet successively over the past seven years. With Al Lulu, the number of offshore rigs owned by NDC has increased from 12 to 21 rigs. An increasing number of the hi-tech rigs are being led and operated by qualified and highly professional UAE national cadres, committed to serving their country and community.

In line with ADNOC's vision and strategy, NDC is evolving into a more agile, resilient and performance-driven company. This has translated into NDC's responsiveness to market fluctuations and in how the company can keep abreast with the long-term needs of its clients. As a result, NDC has expanded its operations three-fold to meet clients demand, raising the number of its rigs from 28 in 2010 to the 95 rigs owned by the company today.

In addition to the new jack-up rigs, NDC has acquired 11 new island rigs dedicated to drilling operations on the man-made islands developed by ADMA-OPCO and ZADCO. Over the last seven years, it has also added 47 new land based rigs fitted with advanced technology to ensure maximum operational reliability and preparedness.

Abdalla Saeed Al Suwaidi, NDC's CEO said, "We are proud to have accomplished this unprecedented growth in our fleet and operations, while maintaining the highest HSE standards and asset integrity. NDC is ranked in the top one percent worldwide for HSE performance and takes pride in many world records, including 21-years without a Lost Time Incident (LTI) for onshore rig ND-17, and 15 years for offshore rig Junana."

Christopher McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Lamprell, said, "This is the ninth major delivery of its kind for Lamprell to NDC, a client with whom we have had a strong and successful partnership for many years. The rigs were all built at Lamprell's facilities in the UAE, for use in the UAE and we are proud of this noteworthy achievement.

"This successful project delivery would not have taken place without close teamwork and the strong relationship, lasting almost a decade, between Lamprell and NDC. We thank NDC for their business and their trust in our capabilities and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship and working with NDC in the future."

NDC is one of the largest drilling contractors in the Middle East. Established in 1972, it was the first oil and gas venture established and fully owned by the ADNOC Group of companies. Since Rig ND-1 began work in 1973, NDC has drilled over 7,200 wells, onshore and offshore.

Source: Emirates News Agency