Emirati rig company Lamprell expecting weakness

Lower crude oil prices mean energy companies have less capital to spend on exploration and production.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   March 23, 2016 at 9:13 AM
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 23 (UPI) -- Emirati oil rig construction company Lamprell said it was holding up well against the market downturn, but expects full-year 2016 revenue to show a decline.

Lamprell, which has headquarters in Dubai, reported a full-year 2015 profit of $66.5 million, which it said was better than expected, but still 28 percent below 2014 levels. Total revenue of $871 million was nearly 20 percent less than 2014.

Lower crude oil prices, down about 23 percent from this time last year and about 60 percent below peak levels in 2014, have left energy companies with less capital to invest in exploration and production, the side of the industry serviced by companies like Lamprell.

Rival rig contractor Transocean last week said moving through the weakened oil market landscape presents significant challenges for the year ahead. For 2016, the company said it expected "very few" new drilling contracts.

Lamprell said it was better positioned than most of its peers after winning one of only three new drilling contracts awarded last year. By contrast, Transocean had a total of 11 contracts pulled prematurely since last year as energy companies spend less on exploration and production during the market downturn.

Lamprell CEO James Moffat said the company was able to maintain a competitive edge despite significant market headwinds. Nevertheless, the weakness in the energy sector is expected to continue for the rest of the year.

"It seems unlikely that the markets will return to full recovery in 2016 and so we currently expect our full year revenues for 2016 to be around 5 percent below 2015 levels," he said in a statement.

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