Qatari company seeks drilling JVs

Qatari oil and gas services company, Gulf International Services QSC, is looking to set up joint ventures to drill outside the emirate as it faces lower rates for its rigs, the company's chief coordinator, Ebrahim Al Mannai, has said.


"We are under negotiations with other partners outside Qatar to start some new joint ventures to do some drilling outside Qatar," Al Mannai was quoted by Bloomberg as saying at a recent press conference in Doha.

Gulf International said in a press release that around 25 per cent of drilling rigs in the Middle East are currently idle. Contracts for the nine rigs belonging to the company's drilling unit will be renewed at lower rates as they expire, according to Al Mannai. "This is a fact of the market," he said.

Gulf International's Al-Rayyan is under maintenance until the end of summer and is not currently contracted for drilling, Al Mannai said, while two other rigs, Al Zubarah and Al Khor, are operating at reduced rates. Al Doha will undergo three months of repairs next year and repair work on Al Wajbah will take place over three months in 2012, the company said in the release.

"There is a big potential of growth," Al Mannai said. "There is a huge potential for other services that need to be provided by local companies in Qatar. Currently, I cannot announce anything about any acquisition but once the right time comes, we will announce it."

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