Gulf Drilling International eyes new assets, likely to buy more rigs

Gulf Drilling International (GDI), which plans to operationalise three assets this year, has kept options open on acquiring more rigs. With market conditions remaining favourable, GDI continues to evaluate opportunities for further growth, Gulf International Services (GIS), its parent company, said yesterday.

“If an asset is suitable for the long term requirements of a targeted client and can be acquired on favourable terms within the capital constraints of the company, GDI will favourably consider any prospective acquisition,” it said. The drilling subsidiary is currently considering the possibility of acquiring further land rigs, GIS said without giving further details. GDI, in which GIS is buying the entire stake held by Japan Drilling Company, had reported a 68% jump in net profit (after inter-segment eliminations) to QR246mn on a 46% gain in net revenue to QR912.23mn, according to the financial statement of GIS.

Total assets of GDI stood at QR3.18bn as on December 31, 2013 against QR2.15bn in the year-ago period, representing a 48% increase. Non-current assets and current assets had grown 50% each year-on-year to QR2.79bn and QR338.81mn respectively in 2013. “Looking ahead to 2014, further growth is envisioned with three more assets being placed into operation,” GIS said. Those assets include a high specification jack-up rig, Dukhan, under construction in Singapore that will be utilised by Qatar Petroleum upon its expected delivery in the first quarter of this year.

It also includes new accommodation lift-boat, Rumailah, under construction in Abu Dhabi, which will be utilised by Maersk Oil Qatar upon its expected delivery in the second quarter of 2014 and a conventional jack-up rig, Msheireb, that was acquired in January of 2014 and is being refurbished in Ras Laffan, which will be utilised by Occidental Petroleum upon its expected delivery in the second quarter of 2014. GDI, which is aiming to enhance its share of the offshore market to 50% by 2015, has adopted a strategy of securing long-term contracts with clients to provide them with stability of cost and uninterrupted operations.

In a span of just three years, the number of operations being conducted by GDI will have doubled from nine to 18. All of these assets are expected to be under contract in 2014, keeping the company’s utilisation rate at 100%. Over the last two years, GDI added six more operations to its portfolio. Those include an accommodation barge, Zikreet, under contract to RasGas and 2 land rigs, GDI-5 and GDI-6, under contract to QP that were added in 2012.

In 2013, three more operations were added, consisting of two high specification jack-up rigs, Al-Jassra and Les Hat, that are under contract to Maersk Oil Qatar, and a lift-boat, Dixie Patriot, that GDI is managing for Dolphin Energy under a contract that was recently extended through 31 December 2014.

In 2011, GDI adopted an ambitious growth strategy designed to expand, diversify and modernise its then fleet of 9 rigs (5 offshore jack-up rigs and 4 onshore land rigs) to meet the evolving needs of its growing clientele in Qatar. Since that time, significant progress has been made. Gulf Times

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