Sequel to recent announcement made by Aquadrill on its new drilling campaign in East Africa, Shelf Drilling has also made a disclosure of the company’s award of a two-year contract for the Shelf Drilling Scepter for drilling operations offshore Nigeria.

The drilling contract which is valued for the firm period, including mobilization revenue, is approximately USD 118 million. The contract also includes a one-year option, and the planned start-up of operations is May 2023.

According to the data obtained from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC February 2023 Monthly Oil Market Report, MOMR, indicated rise in the Nigeria’s oil production in the last one year, the country’s rigs count rose markedly from six to 13 between January 2022 and the same period in 2023, while Africa rigs count rose from 81 in February 2022 to 94 in 2023 same period under review new industry data obtained from Baker Hughes, has shown.

At a current level of 13, up from 12 the previous month of December and up from six one year ago, it marked a significant change of 8.33 per cent from last month and a whopping 116.7 per cent from one year ago.

In January 2023, Dolphin Drilling disclosed that it has entered into a new Letter of Award (LOA) with General Hydrocarbon Limited GHL for the Blackford Dolphin Semisubmersible rig in Nigeria as stated in an update on the rig status. Blackford Dolphin signed a Letter of Award is for additional work in Nigeria in direct continuation with the previously announced contract with General Hydrocarbon Limited (GHL) in October 2022.


Shelf Drilling in its recent press release did not state in details about the ownership of the contract and the location of the contract.  In December 23, 2022, Shelf Drilling, made similar announcement as the company secured a one-year contract for the Trident VIII jack-up rig for operations offshore Nigeria. The rig which completed a short out-of-service project prior is expected another contract commencement in Q2 2023.

Despite the rise, the report indicated that Nigeria’s rig count was not the highest as Algeria, which topped the list of African nations with 31 while Equatorial Guinea comes last with zero rig count.

Meanwhile, OPEC has urged its member states, including Nigeria to increase investment and by extension exploration and production capacity in order to meet demand.


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