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Our History

Our History

ADNOC Drilling was created by virtue of an Emiri Decree in 1972 and started out known as the National Drilling Company (NDC).

It was the first subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) with a mission to drill wells helping ADNOC unlock the UAE’s vast reserves of oil and gas for the benefit of the nation.

The company acquired its first rig, AD-1, in 1973 and it can still be seen today, as it was erected as a monument on the site of the modern Headquarters of ADNOC Group on the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

The 1970s and 1980s were a period of robust expansion as the company added more rigs to its fleet, for both onshore and offshore fields.

By the turn of the Millenium in 2000 the company was pushing forward to   recruit more Emirati staff for operational and leadership roles. 

In 2009, ADNOC Drilling had 29 rigs and began providing electric well logging services to support its drilling operations. 

In 2014, the company established its specialized Drilling Training Center in Al Dhafra region to upskill and multi-skill its drilling crews.

Since 2010, the company has acquired 17 new UAE-built offshore and onshore rigs worth $2Bn, the first time a country in the Middle East built such advanced rigs.

The strategic sale in 2018, of 5% of the company to international drilling services business Baker Hughes was a pivotal moment in the transformation of ADNOC Drilling into the first national Integrated Drilling Services (IDS) company in the region.

In 2020, ADNOC Drilling drilled the Middle East’s longest well at 42,345ft, while also recording an enviable record of 21-years of operations without serious incident on its land rig AD-17.

Today, ADNOC Drilling is the largest drilling company in the Middle East by rig fleet size with 96 owned rigs, nearly twice the size of the nearest competitor, and has delivered nearly 10,000 wells, a total distance of over 70,000 million feet.  

And, there’s more to come …