Aban Offshore Limited (AOL) was established in the year 1986 by M.A. Abraham, India's largest offshore drilling contractor in the private sector and ISO 9001:2000 accredited company offering world-class drilling and oil field services for offshore exploration and production of hydrocarbons to the oil industry in India and abroad. AOL currently possesses twenty offshore drilling and production units, it owns and operates several offshore drilling rigs, drill ships, and a floating production facility, 'Tahara'. The services offered by the company are Exploratory Services, Drilling Services, Production of hydrocarbons and Manning and management.
AOL launched its first contract drilling service to the ONGC in the year 1987 with two modern jack-up drilling rigs acquired from the USA. The imported rigs named as Aban-I and Aban-II was employed at Godavari basin and Mumbai High respectively. During the year 1988, the Company received a letter of intent from ONGC for charter hire of a drillship (Five Star) for two years with an option to extend the contract for a further period of two years. Necessary steps were being taken to obtain approvals from the Government for the said drillship. In 1989, the Company bagged a manning and management contract against a global tender from ONGC to man and manage 300 feet cantilever jack-up-rig `Sagar Uday' in Mumbai High. During the year 1990, many private sector companies in India chose to exit the drilling business. However, AOL preferred to increase its focus on the sector with newer rigs, acquisitions and mergers and also the company diversified into oil related areas. AOL entered into fresh charter hire contracts with ONGC in the year 1992 for ABAN-I and ABAN-II for a primary period of two years. The Rig Lead Ansterdam was added to the fleet.
In 1993, as Fleet addition, AOL purchased a 300-ft. jack-up rig from Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. The Company undertook to set up a 3 million TPA capacity petroleum refinery in the year 1994. It has also set up 2 MW wind power plant in Muppandal and Kayathar in Tamil Nadu during the same year. In 1995, AOL has commissioned 62 wind turbines for its enhancement in business. The Company has received a new charter hire contract in the year 1996 for ABAN-I from ONGC for deployment in the West Coast of India for a period of three years. AOL has entered into new contract in the year 1997 for Rig I'le D'Amsterdam with increased rates for a period of two years. The company acquired Hitech Drilling Services (India) Ltd., belongs to the Tata Group, boosting AOL's fleet to four rigs. This also enables AOL to enter the FPSO business with the FPU `Tahara' owned by Hitech during the period of 2000-01. In the year 2002, AOL ties up with Qatar Shipping to bid for Shipping Corporation of India's disinvestments programme. During the year 2003, Company's offshore has been registered for ISO 9001:2000 by KPMG quality Register. AOL adds two jack-up rigs (Aban V and Aban VI) and a drill ship (Frontier Ice) under Fleet addition in the year 2005 and also in line with its global expansion strategy, AOL launched Aban Singapore Pte Ltd. (ASPL) in November of the same year 2005 as its vehicle for international operations. ASPL, in turn, sets up 3 SPVs as step down subsidiaries, each equipped with a rig or drill ship. ASPL acquires a 33.7% stake in Sinvest ASA during the year 2006, a Norwegian company with eight new premium jack-ups on order. ASPL subsequently completes the acquisition in stages, including a mandatory offer to all shareholders. The Company received letters of Firm Order in the year 2007 from ONGC for deployment of 3 rigs Aban III, Aban IV and Aban V, for a period of 3 years each. During the same year 2007, AOL purchased Semi-Submersible Rig ' Bulford Dolphin' (being renamed 'Aban Pearl') through Aban Pearl Pte Ltd (AAPL), subsidiary of its wholly owned Subsidiary Aban Singapore Pte Ltd (ASPL). During the same year 2007, a subsidiary of the company has entered into a Contract with Chevron Offshore (Thailand) Limited (`Chevron`) for provision of the jack-up drilling rig, Deep Driller 2 valued USD 28 million to USD 40 million.
In February of the year 2008, a subsidiary of the Company has received a Letter of Award from PTTEP International Limited for a 3 well contract offshore Myanmar, for the jack-up drilling rig Deep Driller 5. As on March 2008, A Letter of Intent has been received for the deployment of the newly built jack-up rig Aban VIII in the Middle East for 18 wells plus 4 optional wells programme. The estimated revenues from the Contract (with an estimated duration of approx. 4 years) are approx. USD 300 million. As on May 2008, a contract that has been signed by the company with Exxon Neftegas Limited for the deployment of the Jack-up rig Murmanskaya Offshore Russia for a 2 well programme. Credit Analysis & Research Ltd. (CARE) has revised the ratings for the Cumulative Non-Convertible Cumulative Redeemable Preference Shares (CRPS) issued by the Company. The revised ratings stand at CARE A- (RPS) (Single A minus Redeemable Preference Share) for all the CRPS Issues; it was received in the month of May in 2008.
AOL is going with its vision to achieve far-reaching success in every field by developing innovative, integrated, enterprising and world-class services for the global market. The Indian and international projects, both of the company survive and AOL wants to be at the forefront, in the fiercely competitive business environment, through the managerial, technical and operational excellence, range of services and skilled manpower.