x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Regional oil services company secures first major order

MENAdrill, a new oil and gas services company based in Bahrain, has won an order for two offshore oil rigs.

MENAdrill, a new oil and gas services company based in Bahrain, splashed onto the scene today with a $400 million (Dh1.4bn) order for two offshore oil rigs. The shallow water rigs, called "jackups" in industry parlance because of their extendable legs, will be leased to international and national oil firms to drill for hydrocarbons across the region. Ramzi al Sewaidi, the head of investments for First Energy Bank, said the company would consult Noble and Denton, an established offshore engineering firm, for technical help.

"We are moving with a team of experts," he said. The rigs will be assembled by Maritime Industrial Services, a Sharjah firm, with the first expected to be ready for delivery by September 2010. Yesterday's deal was MENADrill's first step of a plan to become a major provider of oil and gas drilling equipment in the region. The sector has long been dominated by foreign firms like McDermott Internationa and Technip, or handled internally by state oil companies.

The $3bn firm, launched in July by Bahrain-based First Energy Bank, aims to have 20 rigs operating in three to five years, Esam Janahi, the bank's chairman, said today. cstanton@thenational.ae