Two oilfield services companies working in the Middle East say 2010 has been an improvement on 2009, and that they are looking at Iraq to drive growth in 2011.

A spokesman from the US’ Halliburton tells MEED that his company’s 2010 results have improved year-on-year and that Iraq is a vital market for all of the major oil field services providers.

“Iraq is definitely leading the Middle East in regards to demand,” the spokesman says. “Everyone working in oil field services will say that 2009 was a low point for the sector and it wasn’t just because of a decrease in production activity.”

We have signed $900m of orders to date this year and we anticipate that to be well over $1bn by the year-end Nigel McCue, Lamprell

“Another major issue was that every company had to lower the price of its services and products. Hopefully 2011 will see prices resume to pre-global crisis levels,” he adds.

The spokesman also says that Halliburton is hoping that increased activity in key areas such as Iraq will tighten supply and in turn increase prices for technology and services.

“All of the major [oil field services] contractors need Iraq because it is highly likely that the rig count is going to remain as it is in all of the other key production areas of the region,” he said.

Halliburton’s expectations for the number of rigs is backed up by Nigel McCue, chief executive of UAE rig manufacturer Lamprell. McCue says that while he expects rig count to remain at around the same for 2011, his company has still had a successful 2010.  

“We have signed $900m of orders to date this year and we anticipate that to be well over $1bn by the year-end,” McCue says. “We also have another $3bn worth of work in the bidding stage.

“On the land rig side, we are getting a lot of enquiries in Iraq. As the big oil field services companies pick up work it will trickle down to us,” he adds.

Lamprell has also had a number of enquiries for high specification and high capacity jack-up rigs over the past two months, which McCue thinks might be due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred between April and July.

“Lamprell felt that the national oil companies (NOCs) would not be interested in new build rigs due to oversupply,” McCue says.  “Maybe companies are looking at their equipment and thinking that now might be a good time to upgrade.”