Abbot Group Awarded Early Contract Extensions in Oman

Abbot Group Plc (LSE: ABG), the international oil and gas services business, has announced that its subsidiary, Oman KCA DEUTAG Drilling LLC, has been awarded early contract extensions, which include rate increases, for five of its land rigs in Oman by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). The total contract value is in the order of US $100 million.

PDO's contracts with KCA DEUTAG for rigs T 44 and T 77 have been extended by four years each, to December 2011 and July 2011 respectively. The contracts for rigs 55, 66 and 63 have all been extended by two years, to September, March and June 2010 respectively. The original contracts, including extension options, all had in excess of 12 months to run.

In a separate contract, Abbot subsidiary Bentec GmbH, has been awarded a $47.4 million (€34.9 million) contract by a Russian operator for two new HR-5000 series rigs, which are scheduled for delivery in the first quarter 2009. The new rigs will be put into operation in the Novij Urengoy field in Siberia for Gazprom. An option on a third rig is also being discussed.

Work on the new rigs will commence in October 2007 with some of the assembly and completion work to be carried out at Bentec's new Tyumen facility in Russia, which is due to open in the third quarter 2008.

Alasdair Locke, executive chairman of Abbot said: "The award of the early Oman contract extensions, combined with the increased day rate for the rigs, underlines the client's continuing commitment to work with KCA DEUTAG and further strengthens our position in Oman, where we have operated continuously for more than 40 years.

"The Russian contract award underlines our strategy to grow Bentec as an independent stand-alone business and further reinforces our position in Russia, which is one of our key strategic markets."