For more than 50 years, the Arabian Drilling Company (ADC) has been able to bring to the surface the economic lifeblood of the Kingdom, oil. Their first rig in 1964 has since expanded to 32 onshore rigs and offshore units in Saudi Arabia and in the Divided Zone with Kuwait. Previous operations took place in the United Arab Emirate and Yemen.
ADC, which is located in Khobar, is a privately held company that’s part of a joint partnership between the Industrialization & Energy Services Company (TAQA) and oil giant Schlumberger. TAQA owns a 51 percent majority interest in a company which has as its two biggest clients, Saudi Aramco and Al-Khafji Joint Operations.
Approximately one out of every seven rigs that Saudi Aramco has in operation are managed by ABC, an indication of just how important the company is to the Saudi economy. ABC’s market share of 14 percent matches that large number.
Despite the oil woes of the past few years, the number of rigs owned by the company has expanded 60 percent since those problems began. In 2014, roughly 2,000 people worked on the 20 rigs, a number that’s since jumped up to 3,500 and 32, respectively. That rapid jump is merely a precursor to the goals of the company to boost the number of rigs to 60 by 2017.
The Divided Zone project with Kuwait is a joint venture with the Kuwait Oil Company, whereby two offshore rigs and vessels handle operations. The hope is that success will lead to further investment.
ADC is committed to making the company dependent upon staffing its workforce with native Saudis, with an estimated 70 percent of the company’s employees fitting that description. Such numbers are drastically different from other oil firms that import many of their crews.