Highwood exporting advanced well service rigs to Middle East on massive cargo plane
CALGARY - Highwood Equipment Technologies Inc. is transporting two of the world’s most advanced automated well service rigs to the Sultanate of Oman, Fig. 1. The firm contracted an Antonov AN-124, one of the largest aircraft ever built, to carry the rigs over to Oman, Fig. 2. Loading of the equipment occurred on June 26, and the first flight from Calgary left on June 27. The rigs are due to arrive in Oman on June 30.
Rig features/preparation. In collaboration with Al Shawamikh Oil Services (AOS) and the operator, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), Highwood developed a complete well service rig system that strikes the balance between operational cost, speed and safety. The automated rigs are ergonomically designed and minimize manual labor, eliminating the need to expose crews to extreme working conditions.
After receiving the order for the rigs from AOS in January 2021, Highwood custom-designed, procured, fabricated and assembled the units in record time under worldwide Covid restrictions. The company has met the first deliverable by producing two of the three rigs in record time, with a third rig to follow.
Over several hours, Highwood’s team and the Antonov payload specialists loaded the rigs, weighing some 130 metric tons, at Calgary International Airport on the afternoon of June 26. The massive plane was ready for take-off the following day.
“Under some of the most difficult circumstances in Canadian oilpatch history, our innovative approach has created jobs and a much-needed boost to the Alberta economy,” said Highwood President Rob Wawrzynowski. “We are excited to be part of the group that helps re-establish Alberta as a world leader in innovation and safety.”
The two rigs will be deployed in Oman in the coming weeks. The Highwood team and equipment will be welcomed by dignitaries from the oil and gas community and senior Omani government officials. This summer, all three rigs will be deployed with PDO on a 10-year contract, which will provide hundreds of long-term jobs for Canadians and Omani nationals. Highwood is also opening an Oman-based facility to support its international expansion in the Middle East and North Africa.