THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS, September 7, 2023 – Arena Energy, LLC (“Arena”), a leading independent oil and gas exploration company focused on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf, and White Fleet Drilling, LLC (“White Fleet”), Arena’s strategic partner created in 2017 as a jack-up rig services provider and Arena’s preferred drilling contractor, announced the christening and mobilization of a refurbished jack-up drilling rig in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
White Fleet acquired the out of service rig in 2022 and subsequently moved the rig to Gulf Copper’s shipyard in Galveston, Texas, last July. Enterprise Offshore Drilling provided project management services to for an extensive refurbishment of the rig to bring it up to operational standards, including the installation of state-of-the-art equipment, improved safety features, and a complete overhaul of the rig’s mechanical systems. These upgrades will allow the rig to operate more efficiently, reducing downtime and improving overall safety.
The WFD 400 will support drilling and development activities for Arena and plugging and abandonment operations for third-party operators in the Gulf for the next 15 to 20 years. In addition to supporting continued development of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico—the least carbon-intensive production in the world—the rig will provide approximately one hundred full time jobs for oilfield service workers primarily located in rural areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, providing economic growth to those communities.
Mike Minarovic, Co-Founder and CEO of Arena Energy, LLC, stated, “This is important not only for Arena and White Fleet, but also for the rest of the industry. Just 10 years ago, there were thirty-six active jack-up drilling rigs in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. With the addition of the WFD 400, there are now six active jack-up rigs in the Gulf, and the WFD 400 fills a void for jack- up rigs capable of working in four hundred feet of water. Partnering with White Fleet to invest significant capital in refurbishing the WFD 400 rig is further testament to Arena and White Fleet’s long-term commitment to safe and sustainable operations on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf, and the rig represents hundreds of good-paying jobs for workers in rural communities all along the Gulf Coast.”
Kalil Ackal, CEO of White Fleet Drilling, added, “The acquisition and refurbishment of the WFD 400 rig is a significant accomplishment for White Fleet Drilling and our partners. This rig increases the availability of jack-up rigs in the Gulf and will provide our customers with the flexibility and capacity they need.”
Arena and White Fleet christened the WFD 400 in a ceremony at the end of April and is already under contract and on location performing plugging and abandonment work for a third-party operator in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
About Arena Energy
Arena Energy, LLC was founded in 1999 on the belief that mature producing areas of the Gulf of Mexico Shelf still held vast potential – and that with the right technology, talented oil and gas finders could unlock these drilling opportunities. Today, that vision has been realized many times over. Since its founding, Arena has grown into one the largest private offshore oil and natural gas companies, having invested more than $4 billion of capital in the Gulf of Mexico, paid $1.4 billion in royalties to the federal government, and decommissioned over three hundred wells and forty-five platforms and other structures. Arena takes pride in safely and responsibly producing the energy that powers the United States and the world.
About White Fleet Drilling
White Fleet Drilling was formed in 2017 as a jack-up rig services provider to provide safer, more efficient, and consistent drilling services to Arena Energy and the offshore industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. White Fleet Drilling owns and owns and operates three jack-up drilling rigs capable of drilling in water depths of 12 to 400 feet, and the White Fleet team has drilled over 750 wells in the Gulf of Mexico over the past 20 years with a track record of excellence in safety and environmental performance.
Vice President – Government Affairs