Weatherford International plc (NYSE:WFT) Eyeing Joint Opportunities In Middle East Drilling Business


Weatherford International plc (NYSE:WFT) is looking for joint opportunities in the drilling business in the Middle East. The US-based oilfield services company wants to expand its reach in the drilling business of national oil companies with manufacturing capacities in Saudi Arabia. The global crude production in the Middle East accounts for around 35% of the total production in the world.

According to the president of Weatherford’s well construction global business unit, Dean Bell, “We’re very actively [talking to clients in the Middle East], we have an Eastern Hemisphere president based here in Dubai. We constantly evaluate and discuss opportunities with our customers, anything that we can jointly add value is always things that we can discuss.” Bell, however, did not disclose any specific deals.

Weatherford posts $199 million net loss for Q3 year-on-year

The company posted $199 million net loss for Q3 year-on-year. The Eastern Hemisphere revenues including that of Middle East spiked by 2% and rose to $692 million due to higher sale of a product in Asia, and Continental Europe. As compared to these continents the revenues in the Middle East grew very slowly because of lower services activity. Incidentally, the revenues from Russia also dipped as a result of the unfavorable foreign exchange.

Baker Hughes, an oilfield services provider from the US stated in October this year said that it would purchase a 5% stake in the drilling entity of state-owned National Oil Company in Abu Dhabi for $550 million. As per the market analysis, the drill’s estimated value is $11 billion. Weatherford believes that there has been a modest improvement in the upstream activity at the international level has been monitoring Middle East’s ongoing licensing rounds.

It is because several big national oil companies in the region including Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Lebanon are wooing investors by offering blocks to those interested in 2018. Bell stated that the company is watching all these companies very closely since the licensing is the edge that will ultimately shift the activity to the next level of exploration venture.

Weatherford completes land drilling operations sale in Kuwait

The company recently completed land drilling operations sale in Kuwait. Weatherford sold 12 drilling rigs for $123 million cash to ADES International Holding Ltd. The company still has to receive additional $12 million cash from the delivery of South Iraq’s two idle land drilling rigs.