Gulf Drilling International Established

Qatar Petroleum and Japan Drilling Company (JDC) signed today an agreement to establish the first national drilling company in Qatar named Gulf Drilling International (GDI). Shares of the newly formed company will be divided as follows: Qatar Petroleum (60%) and JDC (40%).

H.E. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Second Deputy Premier Minister of Energy and Industry signed on behalf of Qatar Petroleum and Mr. Hiroichi Hayashi, President of JDC signed on behalf of the Japanese company.

GDI will be established initially based on six rig operations (4 offshore jack-up and 2 land rigs) with an investment capital of US$258 million, during the initial three years of the joint venture.

The company will also include other support services such as an offshore accommodation barge, work over rigs and other oil well services in the future.

"This achievement would not have been possible without the support of H.H. the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. The establishment of a national drilling company constitutes an important stage in contributing to the development of oil and gas in the state of Qatar, support the local economy and create employment opportunities for Qataris to work in the management and operations of an international recognized drilling company," H.E. the Second Deputy Premier said.

The newly formed company (GDI) will commence activities in the second quarter of 2004 with one jack-up rig purchased from JDC. GDI will invest in newly built rigs equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and latest drilling technology, to suit the drilling needs of Qatar [petroleum and other international operators in Qatar. GDI will also purchase second hand rigs to expand its operations to meet current and future demands for drilling rigs in Qatar oil fields.

GDI is also expected to pursue business opportunities outside Qatar to include the GCC and other neighboring countries.