Maersk Oil inks $211m deal for Qatar drilling

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Maersk Oil Qatar and Gulf Drilling International (GDI) have signed a four year QR770m ($211m) agreement under which the Maersk unit will contract the Al Jassra, GDI's new-build jack-up drilling rig.

The contract covers drilling and well work-over activity in the Al Shaheen field, Qatar's largest offshore oil field.

Lewis Affleck, Maersk Oil Qatar's managing director, said: "By working closely with our partner Qatar Petroleum, Maersk Oil has started to unlock the significant potential of the Al Shaheen oil field.

"We have already drilled in excess of 300 wells, and we expect to drill many more in the years ahead to optimise recovery from this giant offshore oil field. We are very pleased that a Qatari-based drilling company is able to provide the world-class drilling support that we currently require - and we very much look forward to working with GDI."

The Al Jassra will be one of the drilling rigs used to deliver Maersk Oil's current field development plan, which calls for the drilling of 51 new wells in the Al Shaheen oil field.

Ibrahim J Al-Othman, GDI's CEO, said: "Today's signing signifies an important milestone for GDI, as we begin to provide an essential role in the future development of Qatar's largest offshore oil field.

"Both companies have worked tirelessly to ensure that a credible, economic and sustainable drilling rig solution is delivered."

He added: "We are pleased that Maersk Oil is committed to using the services of a Qatari-based drilling company and to supporting the country's national vision of building local capacities and developing Qatari skills and competencies."

The Al Jassra rig is currently under construction at PPL shipyard in Singapore. Following commissioning and dry tow, the rig is expected to arrive in Qatar by mid-2013.

Denmark-based Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with operated production of about 625,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

It produces oil and gas from Denmark, the UK, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Algeria. Exploration activities are ongoing in Angola, Norway, the US Gulf of Mexico, Greenland and in producing countries.

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