Oando Deploys Rig for Shell's Niger Drilling

Oando Energy Services Limited (OESL), a subsidiary of Oando PLC and Nigeria's leading indigenous operator of swamp drilling rigs, has announced the deployment of one of its swamp rigs, OES Passion, to execute a two year drilling contract, valued at N12 billion with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in the Niger Delta. This brings to three the number of rigs OESL has in operation following the deployment of OES Integrity in 2009 and OES Teamwork in 2010.

OES Passion is a unique swamp barge with sequential well drilling capabilities and a skidding system that enable it drill up to six wells in one location. Formerly known as Parker 75, the rig entered into service in 1999 and it is rated to 3000HP, thereby able to drill up to 25,000 feet in water depths of up to 16 feet.

To ensure optimal performance on deployment, OESL committed to a comprehensive lifetime enhancement program after purchasing the rig in 2009. This upgrade included the restoration of the cantilever skidding system which is expected to save the client up to 30 days for every six wells drilled thus significantly reducing the overall cost of drilling campaigns. Also modernized were the mud pumps, the electric-motor driven engines, the top drive and the accommodation module.

With a technical team that was 99 percent constituted by Nigerians, several competent indigenous contractors, and the refurbishment project undertaken at the Federal Lighter Terminal in Onne, Port Harcourt, this project is a testament of Oando's support for the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Development Content Act and local capacity development program of the Federal Government.

According to Mr. Bandele Badejo, Chief Executive Officer of OESL, "The deployment of this rig further underlines OESL's commitment to ensuring competent indigenous companies take advantage of the provisions of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Development Act. We remain resolute towards developing Nigeria's upstream service industry and continue to set the benchmark for performance. Following the success of our previously deployed rigs, OESL has built a reputation as the drilling contractor of choice among the major oil companies and we will not relent in our mission to be the upstream preferred supplier of choice as we strive to achieve better operating efficiencies and better safety performance for our clients and other stakeholders."

Also commenting, Mr. Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando PLC, "Our business strategy of diversification and expansion into the upstream oil & gas sector is yielding positive results, thereby consolidating our leadership as Nigeria's foremost indigenous integrated energy conglomerate. In 2011, our upstream division accounted for approximately 33 percent of the group's profits and this year, we are committed to further increasing our footprint in the upstream sector as we help to meet the nation's energy challenges. Subsequently, our fourth rig is billed to be deployed in the last quarter of 2012 in line with our resolve to increase earnings by maximizing opportunities in the upstream space."

"This contract is an affirmation of our belief and indeed proof that indigenous companies can execute at world class levels. OES Passion brings to three, the number of rigs we have in our fleet, currently executing drilling contracts for the majors in the Niger Delta, reinforcing our business principles of doing things right, creating the right value proposition for our Customers, Government, Host Communities and thereby ultimately increasing shareholder value," he added.

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