Energy Drilling

Licence to drill

One year since its inception, Energy Drilling is a new company only in age; boasting an expert team of ex-employees from leading offshore deepwater drilling firm Seadrill, it has strategic aims to become a major player in the offshore industry. “Our team was involved in the tender rig business of Seadrill, which had three main asset classes: tender rigs, jackups and deepwater rigs.

We grew the tender business for Seadrill which became the leading tender rig operator worldwide and was sold off last year for US$3 billion. We aim to effectively recreate that success story that for ourselves with some investors and capital both in Europe and Singapore,” says Marcus Chew, CEO of Energy Drilling.

Established to develop, build and operate the next generation of self-erecting tender rigs, Energy Drilling is focused on becoming the best provider of tender drilling solutions. It has so far ordered three tender rigs, two barges and one semi-submersible from Cosco, a multinational shipbuilder and repairer based in China. Cosco is the only company in China with experience in tender rig construction, and the contracts come with an option for three more rigs at its Guangdong yard; the first rig is to be delivered mid 2014. With plans in place for the company’s development once the rigs are built, Marcus elaborates on the new assets: “In the tender rig segment at this moment there are essentially two types of asset classes; one would be the barge type that we typically use for the shallow water drilling and the other is the semi submersible, which is more intended for harsher environments in deeper waters. We have ordered two barges and one semi-submersible and the contract values for the three rigs is approximately US$450 million. Delivery for the first two barges, will take place in March and June next year, while the semi-submersible is to be delivered in June 2015. We are now marketing these units to the operators in this part of the world and also in West Africa and these are essentially people we have worked for in the past with Seadrill.”

As a complete start-up firm the company has no rigs in operation at the moment but is confident of what it can offer to customers old and new. The Energy Drilling management team has experience of managing and delivering more than ten new tender drilling rigs in the past; they have been involved in developing specifications, managed construction and been the operators of tender rigs for major oil companies. Valuing integrity, creativity, customer focus, and respect, Energy Drilling will work in partnership with its clients, contractors, suppliers and regulatory bodies to achieve success.

Positive that a focus on tender rigs is a wise investment, Marcus explains: “There were some studies recently done by several brokers about the rate of return of the different asset classes in the offshore drilling market and they have concluded that, in terms of investment, tender rigs actually stand out as a much better investment option than the jack ups and just as good as the deepwater rigs but the capital needed to get this business started is a lot lower. A deepwater rig today would be above $600 million and we can get these tender rigs for under $200 million. We can drill deepwater development wells for a lot less and still make excellent return on our investments.”

The team of experts at Energy Drill have been building rigs for Seadrill for years and, with their state-of-the-art assets currently being built, have a competitive edge over other players in the market. Approximately 80 per cent of tender rigs in the world are currently operating in South East Asia and interest is also developing in West Africa, giving the company plenty of opportunity to offer its solutions to potential customers. It is also looking into the concept of getting traction in deep waters as a way to gain new potential customers, as Marcus highlights: “We are looking to improve the market for tender rigs in deep waters so we can compete with subsea solutions at a cheaper cost to the operator. The tender rig market is still very strong in this part of the world and we are excited about our prospects in this particular sector.”

Over the coming months Energy Drill will be preparing for operations that will be starting in the second and third quarter of 2014. This will involve ensuring that the rigs are built on time, on budget and to the correct quality, and also making sure employees are ready to go. Its access to qualified and experienced personnel is a key selling point to oil companies as Energy Drill can crew rigs with qualified, well organised and experienced personnel that will work to achieve success. Looking further ahead the business aims to become the preferred supplier for tender rig solutions and to provide an environment that employees will be proud and happy to work in. With a wealth of experience and brand new assets coming in, there is a positive outlook for the company, as Marcus concludes: “We may be a new company but we are formed by an experienced group of people who know how to get jobs done and we aim to be a key player in the tender rig market in years to come.”

Energy Drilling
Services: Tender drilling solutions