Oil services firm Swiber wades into Qatari waters

Contract for Singapore-based company comes as crude oil prices recover from below $30 per barrel.

By Daniel J. Graeber

SINGAPORE, July 8 (UPI) -- Singapore-based oilfield services company Swiber Holdings said Friday it scored a win with its first offshore pipeline project contract in Qatar.

"Despite the ongoing oil market volatility and challenging conditions in the offshore oil and gas industry, Swiber continues to demonstrate our ability to successfully secure new projects," Deputy CEO Darren Yeo said in a statement.


Part of a $215 million contract for Swiber, awarded by an unnamed European oil major, targets pipeline replacement work in Qatar and is the Singapore-based company's first offshore construction project in the Middle East.

The contract comes as crude oil prices are holding steady in the $50 per barrel range, after plummeting below $30 per barrel early this year. Prices are still about 50 percent below 2014 levels, forcing companies to spend less on exploration and production, the side of the industry serviced by company's like Swiber.

In April, when crude oil prices were holding near the $40 range, Weatherford International, among the larger services companies, characterized the market downturn as "violent."

Yeo said the Qatari contract was a "breakthrough."

French energy company Total last month formed a joint venture with state-owned Qatar Petroleum to help advance production at Qatar's offshore al-Shaheen oil field, currently producing about 300,000 barrels of oil per day.


The state-owned Qatari company last year extended invitations to leading international oil and gas companies to help develop al-Shaheen oil. In production for more than two decades, it accounts for about 40 percent of Qatari oil production.

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