Saipem, an Italian oilfield services company, announced on Tuesday that is has signed several new drilling contracts in the Middle East and West Africa, totaling over $800 million.

The company stated that three of the new offshore drilling contracts are in the Middle East, and two are in West Africa. The estimated total value of these contracts is $800 million. These contracts will last five years for the first rig plus two optional years and three years plus one optional year for the second rig.

While the awards in West Africa “secure the continuity of operations” in keeping with the Italian player’s plan for the ultra-deepwater market in this region, Saipem sees these long-term awards in the Middle East as a reinforcement of its approach towards this “key area” for its business.


The contracts in West Africa are for drilling operations using the sixth-generation Saipem 12000 drillship in the ultra-deepwater segment. Eni Cote d’Ivoire has given the first of these assignments for drilling operations off the coast of the Ivory Coast.

The drillship is anticipated to begin work on this project in the fourth quarter of 2022, which will extend the rig’s current activities in the region by about six months. It comes after contracts were awarded by the Eni Cote d’Ivoire-Petroci consortium in late September 2022 for the development of the relevant oil and gas field offshore Ivory Coast.

The drilling, completion, and testing of development and exploration wells offshore Angola in Block 15/06, managed by Eni Angola, is the second contract in West Africa awarded by Azule Energy.

Saipem emphasised that this assignment will last the expected 26 months it will take to drill and complete 12 firm wells, with the option of an additional optional term extension. In keeping with the rig’s prior operations in this area, the project is expected to begin in 2023.


The oilfield services provider revealed that two contracts for two high-specification jack-up drilling rigs, Perro Negro 12 and Perro Negro 13, that was chartered by third parties for drilling and workover activities on the particular projects had been awarded in the Middle East.

A five-year extension of an existing contract for the high-spec Sea Lion 7 jack-up rig, a highly adaptable self-elevating drilling machine capable of operating in sea depths of up to 375 feet, is included in the third contract in the Middle East.