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Foresight anticipates upturn in offshore drilling business

Photo: Foresight jha (002).jpg
Dr Ravi K. Mehrotra’s diversified Foresight Group has appointed industry veteran Alok Jha as its global head of Drilling Business, based in Abu Dhabi.

Jha (pictured) is a graduate in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and has over 30 years’ experience in offshore drilling, with global giants such as Transocean and Seadrill. Most recently he was director of operations for Seadrill Americas, operating out of Houston.

The current head of Drilling Business, Milind Orpe, has meanwhile been promoted to a director on Foresight’s leadership board in Dubai, tasked with overseeing growth and expansion strategies, including M&A activities.

Despite “the oil exploration industry being in decline,” the future holds opportunities for “medium-sized and nimble” companies like Foresight, which remains “extremely well-positioned to continue building on its strong momentum,” Mehrotra tells Seatrade Maritime News.

“Luckily all our six rigs enjoy 100% employment at present,” he continues, while the addition of Jha means the company should be able to “take full advantage” once the market begins to recover by securing future contracts at improved rates.

Founded by Mehrotra in 1984, initially as shipowning group, Foresight soon diversified into drilling operations as well as various unrelated fields such as restaurants and shoe manufacturing & retail; today it still operates two aframax tankers and plans to enter the gas market with a proposed port development project at Bhavnagar in India.

In offshore drilling, Foresight reacted to the rising market back in 2013 by investing $600m in ordering three high-specification LeTourneau Super 116E jack-up rigs from China. Its combined fleet has since notched up 15 million man hours of operation without a lost time incident, as well as what the company calls “industry-leading” 99.7% uptime.


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