Aberdeen-based international drilling and engineering contractor KCA Deutag has started work in Iraq.
It has one rig operating in the north of the country with a second arriving in Basra in the south within weeks.
A company spokesman for said the workers would be an international mix of crews. Asked about possible safety concerns in the Middle East former warzone, the KCA spokesman would only say: “We take all types of safety considerations into account, as always.”
The spokesman could not say which client or clients the company was working for in the Middle East country.
KCA Deutag chairman Tim Summers said: “Iraq is a key strategic market for KCA Deutag as the country looks to develop its huge reserves base. Even before the Iraqi government increased its estimate of the country’s proven oil reserves by 25% to 143billion barrels, the Iraq Drilling Company was planning to drill more than 250 wells each year from 2011.”
Mr Summers added there were plans for a further three of the company’s land rigs to start work in Iraq in 2011 and 2012. He said: “KCA Deutag has also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iraq Drilling Company to jointly pursue future drilling and training opportunities in Iraq and we have begun recruiting Iraqi engineers in line with our policy of knowledge sharing. We again look forward to providing safe, effective and trouble-free services to the re-emerging Iraqi oil industry and to helping rebuild its presence on the global oil market, and thus contribute to the overall economy.”
Abbot Group, the owner of KCA Deutag and German rig designer and builder Bentec, made pre-tax profits of £40.73million in 2009 compared with losses of £3.96million a year earlier, the company’s latest annual report shows.
The losses in 2008 resulted from payment of a dividend of £40.14million. No dividend is being paid for 2009 to parent Turbo Alpha.