Qatar’s state-owned petroleum company, Qatar Petroleum (QP), has signed two contracts worth QAR1.7bn ($467m) to use Gulf Drilling International’s (GDI) two drilling rigs for its offshore oil fields.

Under the five-year contract, QP will use the drilling rigs Al-Doha and Al-Zubarah, until 2018.

The contracts were signed in the presence of the Qatar Minister of Energy and Industry and QP chairman and managing director, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, and GDI chief executive officer, Ibrahim J. Al-Othman.

Commenting on the development, Al-Sada said: "Qatar Petroleum places high priority on the development of national oil service companies. We are pleased to give its full support to GDI."

Al-Othman noted: "GDI is fully aware of the value resulting from the support it receives from Qatar Petroleum."

"Working with QP has granted us the chance to develop our skills, technologies and the required competencies to be a world-class drilling service provider," Al-Othman added.

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By GlobalData
"QP will use the drilling rigs Al-Doha and Al-Zubarah, until 2018."

A subsidiary of the Gulf International Services (GIS), GDI is the first onshore and offshore oil and gas drilling company in Qatar, with a fleet of six rigs each for offshore and onshore, one offshore accommodation jack-up and one lift boat operating in the region.

In May 2011, GDI arranged a $430m credit facility from a syndicate of banks formed by Qatar National Bank (QNB), Samba Financial Group and the International Bank of Qatar.

The funds were taken to finance a $538m business expansion that included the construction of two new hi-spec premium jack-up rigs, two new land rigs and the acquisition of a jack-up accommodation barge.

In the same year the company purchased Ensco-95, a jack-up drilling rig from British Ensco Offshore International, for an undisclosed sum.

Image: Qatar Petroleum will use two GDI rigs until 2018. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.