By Yemie Adeoye
OANDO Energy Services, a subsidiary of Oando Plc, has announced the acquisition of two new inland barge rigs from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), for $43.5 million.
The latest development has brought the total rigs in the companyâ€™s fleet to five with a total investment of $250m.
This was contained in a statement issued by the company over the weekend and signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, Mr. Meka Olowola, and made available to Vanguard in Lagos.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Uche Dimiri, Chief Executive Officer, Oando Energy Services, said: â€œThe Niger Delta swamps contain abundant reserves that are crucial to Nigeria achieving its plan to increase production levels to 4 million barrels per day by 2010.
“The understanding that there must be increased drilling activity across all stages of oil exploitation, from exploration to development, for the governmentâ€™s targets to be realised forms the basis of our continued investments in swamp drilling rigs.
“The cantilever capability of Rig 2 (formerly Parker rig 75) is unique in Nigeria. This feature enables Rig 2 to drill multiple well slots while remaining at the same client location, thus optimising reservoir drainage while reducing the overall cost of well construction.
“We intend to combine this uniqueness with our superior community relations expertise to deliver not only significant cost savings but other operational efficiencies to our customers.
“An added feature of Rig 1 is its 3,000 horsepower rating which gives Oando the flexibility to upgrade it to a High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) rig.
“This conversion will increase to two the number of such rigs in-country for exploiting reservoirs with such peculiarity.
â€œRig 2 was acquired together with an existing contract whilst Rig 1 (formerly Parker 73) is scheduled to go to shipyard where it will undergo life enhancement and upgrade prior to its deployment in 2010,â€ Dimiri added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wale Tinubu, the Group Chief Executive has said, â€œThis latest acquisition boosts our investment to approximately $250 million out of the $500 million five-year development plan announced prior.
“With a further resolve to increase our rig fleet in the near future, we are positioning Oando as the partner of choice for world-class land and swamp oil field services.
“By the purchase of an asset already in contract, we expedite value extraction for our shareholders, whilst guaranteeing significant and steady long term revenue for the group,â€ he added.