Middle East Deals See Rig Builder Lamprell Boost Workforce

United Arab Emirates-based rig builder Lamprell has taken on 1,500 additional workers to meet increased activity in the Middle Eastern market, the firm reported Friday.

In a trading update released to the London Stock Exchange, Lamprell said that it is continuing to deliver a strong operational performance across all of its facilities. It said that all of its current projects are progressing well and that its construction yards are seeing high levels of activity.

Lamprell said that in recent weeks it successfully completed the load out of the first pipe racks for the UZ750 project, which will be installed in Abu Dhabi, with other phased deliveries to be made in the coming months. This project – aimed at increasing the Upper Zakum oilfield's production capacity to 750,000 barrels per day – also achieved "a major milestone" by reaching two million man-hours without a day away from work case, with the Jebel Ali yard now having operated for more than three years without a single day away from work case.

The firm has seen further awards from Petrofac, resulting in original contract award of 26 pre-assembled racks growing to a total of 45 pre-assembled racks, units and modules.   

There are currently seven concurrent jack-up rigs being constructed in the Hamriyah yard, which Lamprell said is a record for the group. The implementation of Project Evolution – aimed at productivity improvements and cost efficiencies across the group – is "progressing well", with most of the activities completed and the remainder to be delivered in early 2016. In November the panel line achieved its full run-rate of six panels a day.

Lamprell said the benefits resulting from this investment program are contributing to maintaining the group's competitive position, offsetting some of the pressure on margins experienced in the currently challenging environment worldwide in the oil and gas services sector.

Consequently, the group "remains on track" to deliver 2015 results in line with previous guidance. According to investment bank JP Morgan, this means that revenues for the year are expected to be down by 10 percent over those for 2014, when Lamprell posted turnover of $1.1 billion, and significantly weighted to the second half.

While the rig refurbishment segment is experiencing "modest levels of new awards", Lamprell said it has maintained its strong pipeline with high levels of bidding for new work – although the number of projects proceeding to award has suffered from the current challenges in the market.


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