MIS completes Middle East’s first jack-up rig

Sharjah based Maritime Industrial Services (MIS) has completed the first ever offshore jack-up rig to be constructed in the Middle East. The move is expected to boost the profile of MIS in the region and also position the Middle East as an upcoming market for jack-up rig new builds. The SeaWolf Oritsetimeyin (Hull 104), which is scheduled for actual delivery to the client in the coming days, is currently undergoing intensive commissioning and testing procedures before final delivery. Along with its sister rig the SeaWolf Onome, this rig is one of two offshore jack-up drilling rigs being built by MIS for SeaWolf Oilfield Services, the Nigerian drilling company, in contracts worth $254 million (Dh932m). “This is our first ever jackup rig and the first to be constructed in this region. Due to this, the task has not been easy and completion has been delayed due to the many challenges and stumbling blocks,” said MIS Managing Director Jerry Smith. “For a yard with no previous record in building new rigs, we consider this an exceptional feat – especially with a new design that has never been built before anywhere in the world.” Both SeaWolf rigs are of a Friede and Goldman Super Mod 2 design with 30,000 foot rated drilling depth and an operating water depth capability of about 300 feet, or 92 metres. The SeaWolf Onome, SeaWolf’s second jack-up rig under MIS’ construction, is scheduled for delivery to SeaWolf in February 2009. Jack-up rig are mobile offshore drilling platforms used in oil and gas drilling and commonly used in oil and gas producing countries in the region and elsewhere. The Middle East is among the regions with the highest demand for jack-up rigs due to a large number of oil and gas drilling activities. While the region has previously looked at foreign yards for new builds and repair for rigs, drilling companies are beginning to pay attention to local manufacturers. MIS expanded its business line in 2006 to include the construction of offshore jack-up drilling rigs and currently has a backlog worth $1 billion, with seven rigs under construction and due for delivery in 2009 and 2010. The first quarter of 2008 saw a high demand for offshore drilling rigs, spurred by the increasing global demand for oil, leading to further shortage of yard space at the MIS yard in Sharjah. This year alone, MIS took four orders in excess of $500m, and with its current order book for oilrigs full until 2010, the company is in the process of opening its order book for 2011. “The overwhelming demand has prompted us to look for space elsewhere since the existing yard space is not enough if we are to expand our capacity,” Kevin Hudson, MIS Group CEO told Emirates Business. This year, Mosvold Middle East Jackup placed orders for Hulls 106 and 108 and while Bahrain’s MENAdrill ordered for Hulls 109 and 110. Smith said the future for the jack-up rig market would remain brighter due to increasing demand and the phasing out of ageing fleet that would have otherwise caused an oversupply. Ashaba Abdul K Basti business24-7.ae