'‘This represents just one of a total 50 committed onshore rig purchases to date.’

First in-Kingdom Manufactured Onshore Rig Spudded
The first onshore rig, manufactured in-Kingdom and delivered by Aramco’s joint venture, the Arabian Rig Manufacturing Company.

The first onshore rig, manufactured in-Kingdom and delivered by Aramco’s joint venture (JV), the Arabian Rig Manufacturing Company (ARM), has been successfully commissioned and started operations on the first well in Manifa on July 5.

This milestone, the result of Aramco’s efforts to strengthen and diversify the Kingdom’s economy through localization, marks the beginning of the journey in establishing the ecosystem for the Kingdoms’ oil and gas rig building and operation.

“For the past 10 years, we have been planning and paving the way for a more localized Saudi energy sector,” said Nasir K. Al-Naimi, Aramco’s senior vice president of Upstream.

“Today, we are witnessing the first in-Kingdom manufactured rig directly working to serve our fields. This is a significant accomplishment and the result of many ongoing initiatives whose full value we look forward to seeing realized in the near future.”

— Nasir K. Al-Naimi

Just The Beginning

But this milestone is just the beginning, noted AbdulHameed A. Al-Rushaid, vice president for Drilling and Workover and ARM’s chairman of the Board.

“This represents just one of a total 50 committed onshore rig purchases to date, and reflects our ambition to cement Saudi Arabia’s worldwide reputation as a preeminent builder of drilling rigs,” Al-Rushaid said.

“Our strategic goal is to ensure security of supply while simultaneously promoting local content and cultivating homegrown capabilities and expertise. Our aspiration is to see the rigs made in Saudi Arabia by ARM operational globally.”

— AbdulHameed A. Al-Rushaid

Localizing the supply chain for a core part of Aramco’s business — the exploration and development of oil and gas fields in the Kingdom — makes good strategic business sense. Building drilling rigs in-Kingdom and selling them to in-Kingdom providers of drilling services not only ensures that Aramco has the rigs and world-class aftermarket services it needs in a timely manner, it also creates thousands of new highly paid jobs for talented Saudi citizens.

First in-Kingdom Manufactured Onshore Rig Spudded
Management from Aramco Drilling and Workover listen to a presentation by Arabian Rig Manufacturing (ARM) on a vertical turning center used as a pallet changes for the horizontal boring mill. Pictured from left are Khalid A. Abdulgader, Aramco's general manager of Southern Area D&WO Operations; AbdulHameed A. Rushed, vice president of Aramco's D&WO and ARM joint venture (JV) chairman; Talal M. Zahrani, D&WO JV Management Division head; Sara A. Alsubayie, Upstream JV Management Department; Gene R. Downey, ARM JV CEO; Nayef K. Ghafel, Aramco's manager of the D&WO Services Department; Omar S. Husaini, general manager of Northern Area D&WO Operations; and Faisal N. Nughaimish, Aramco's chief drilling engineer.

“Deployment of the Saudi Aramco Nabors Drilling Company’s (SANAD) first in-Kingdom new build rig is one of the achievements resulted from adapting the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and it will strengthen both Aramco’s local supply chain, and the Kingdom’s reputation as a reliable energy supplier,” said Khaled A. Al-Buraik, vice president for Southern Area Oil Operations and SANAD chairman.

“During disruptive times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, continuity of energy supply is a primary concern for much of the world, so this milestone is part of the ecosystem strategy for the Kingdom’s oil and gas sectors,” he said.

“The successful first in-Kingdom rig is an achievement of adopting local manufacturing and suppliers that capitalize on local expertise. World-class locally built drilling rigs enable our longer term resilience, build up our domestic manufacturing industry, and in turn provide local opportunities for Saudi people.”

— Khaled A. Al-Buraik

Manufacturing Ecosystem

“This is an essential milestone in establishing the Kingdom’s oil and gas ecosystem in drilling manufacturing. The mega-project will address supply chain constraints and introduce a new well-established international manufacturing hub supported by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” said Yehya Altameimi, SANAD JV CEO.

“The rig, manufactured by Aramco’s very own Arabian Rig Manufacturing JV and purchased by SANAD is a significant milestone successfully accomplished toward our drive to localize the entire energy supply value chain,” said Basim S. Tahir, manager of the Upstream JV Management Department.

“This is a remarkable stepping stone toward transferring knowledge across our JV network to maintain our best in class drilling performance, increase Saudization, and ensure the development of local capabilities.”

— Basim S. Tahir

The forecasted job creation of the Upstream JVs is approximately 17,000 employees with a targeted Saudization rate of 80%. Partnerships are formed to drive localization of the oil field sector, enhance in-Kingdom capabilities, and develop local capacities.

Advanced Technology

These rigs are built using advanced controls data analysis systems and technologies. Specifically, an integrated control system for managing and controlling drilling platform equipment, monitoring its independent operations, and ensuring homogeneity throughout the processes.

The system is designed to allow operators to focus on drilling operations, build drilling pipes by providing an efficient command center, a digital platform to automate processes that seamlessly integrate with the main control system, and an application server. As part of Aramco’s commitment to sustainability, these rigs utilize low emission technologies to reduce the carbon footprint.

— The Arabian Sun: August 02, 2022