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About us

Shelf Drilling Holdings Limited is a private company committed to becoming the best-in-class international jackup drilling contractor. The principal investors in Shelf Drilling are Castle Harlan, CHAMP Private Equity and Lime Rock Partners.

Shelf Drilling is working closely with Transocean under a transition services agreement to ensure a safe and seamless transition. Our management team has been formed largely from Transocean’s senior leadership team and is led by David Mullen, who has extensive experience in our industry. In addition to our proven rig asset base currently drilling in 11 countries, Shelf Drilling will have approximately 3,500 employees.

Shelf Drilling is headquartered in Dubai with locations in Southeast Asia, India, West Africa, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Italy. With a sole focus on shallow water drilling, and many of the world’s leading oil companies as customers, Shelf Drilling is positioned to become a significant player in the market from day one. Customers include Chevron, ExxonMobil, ONGC, Perenco, Petrofac, Saudi Aramco and Total.

Our History

  • 2021

    • December 2021

      Shelf Drilling Chaophraya and Shelf Drilling Krathong awarded long-term contract extensions in Thailand

    • November 2021

      12 rig-years of backlog added with ONGC India across 4 rigs from April to Nov

    • June 2021

      1-year contract plus options awarded to Shelf Drilling Tenacious by CABGOC in Angola, featuring major technical innovations

    • May 2021

      10-year extension with Saudi Aramco for High Island IX

    • March 2021

      Improved liquidity by issuance of $310 million of new senior notes and closing of select rig sales

  • 2020

    • December 2020

      Signing of sale and purchase agreement for Shelf Drilling Journey

    • January 2020

      Acquisition of Shelf Drilling Enterprise and contract secured with Chevron Thailand

  • 2019

    • December 2019

      35 rig-years awarded for four rigs contracted with Saudi Aramco

    • July 2019

      Shelf Drilling Scepter secured contract with Chevron Thailand

    • May 2019

      First CJ-46 rig – “Shelf Drilling Achiever” secured contract with Saudi Aramco

    • February 2019

      Signing of transaction with China Merchants to acquire two newbuild CJ-46 jack-ups

  • 2018

    • July 2018

      Purchase of Shelf Drilling Scepter

    • June 2018

      Listing on Oslo Børs and Redemption of Preferred Equity

    • June 2018

      RCF Extension and Long-Term Refinancing of Remaining Debt

    • January 2018

      Long-Term Refinancing of HY Notes

  • 2017

    • April 2017

      Equity raise on Norwegian-OTC list to acquire 3 premium jack-ups

    • June 2017

      Second newbuild rig “Shelf Drilling Krathong” starts contract with Chevron Thailand

    • April 2017

      Shelf Drilling takes delivery of the second newbuild rig “Shelf Drilling Krathong” from Lamprell shipyard

    • January 2017

      Completion of refinancing transaction to create significant value

  • 2016

    • December 2016

      First newbuild rig “Shelf Drilling Chaophraya” starts contract with Chevron Thailand

    • December 2016

      Commencement of a 380-day contract with Shell in India

    • April 2016

      Commencement of a two-year contract with Chevron Nigeria

  • 2015

    • June 2015

      Start-up of operations in UAE with NDC resulting in ten rigs in the Arabian Gulf

  • 2014

    • October 2014

      Steel Cutting Ceremony in the UAE for the two newbuilds for Chevron Thailand – Shelf Drilling Chaophraya and the Shelf Drilling Krathong

    • May 2014

      Signing of 5-year contracts with Chevron Thailand for two newbuild jackup rigs

    • April 2014

      Signing of 5-year contracts for multiple rigs in the Arabian Gulf with Saudi Aramco

  • 2013

    • December 2013

      Fleet achieves substantial independence, majority of rigs transferred to Shelf Drilling operational control

  • 2012

    • 30 November 2012

      Establishment of Shelf Drilling following the acquisition of 37 jackup drilling rigs and one swamp barge from Transocean

Shelf Drilling  has  three  core  strategic  priorities


Shallow water drilling is Shelf Drilling’s sole focus, with a flat, operationally- focused organization dedicated to outstanding customer service.


With safety at the forefront of everything we do, Shelf Drilling creates an incident-free environment where no one gets hurt. We deliver outstanding performance through continued investment in our people and maintaining our rigs to the highest reliability and quality levels.


Shelf Drilling’s goal is to develop long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with customers and suppliers and to be the shallow water drilling contractor of choice.


Shelf Drilling’s three principal private equity investors combine global reach,
deep oil and gas industry experience and expertise in launching new
companies from larger organizations.

Castle Harlan

Castle Harlan was founded in 1987, with its origins starting in institutionalized private equity in the 1960s. The firm has participated in eight private equity funds totalling approximately $6 billion in capital commitments. Castle Harlan’s five North American focused funds have invested in more than 50 businesses, totalling over $10 billion of enterprise value, primarily in North America and Europe. For more information, visit

CHAMP Private Equity

Since 1987, CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessors have managed ten private equity funds with total capital commitments exceeding $4 billion. The group has made over 70 cornerstone investments and focuses on identifying companies that offer value creation opportunities through sustainable earnings growth based on superior management and investment in growth initiatives. For more information, visit

Lime Rock Partners

Established in 1998, Lime Rock manages nearly $5 billion of private capital for investments in the energy industry. From five offices on three continents, Lime Rock seeks to be a creative investment partner that helps build differentiated, high-growth E&P, service, manufacturing, and oilfield technology companies. For more information, visit