KCA Deutag, a subsidiary of Abbot Group plc, has completed the construction of a new Rig T-79 in Dubai for the Middle East market at a total cost of more than $9.6 million.

Already active in Iran and Oman, KCA Deutag is targeting other Middle East countries including Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"This powerful new rig together with the planned refurbishment of rigs T-40 (1,500hp) and T-80 (2,000hp) will position KCA Deutag to meet growing demand for land rigs in this area," commented Claus Chur, Group Director, Land Division.

"KCA Deutag has an excellent track record in the Middle East, which is an important market for the company. We believe that there are many opportunities for future contracts in the region, and the powerful new T-79 rig provides us with additional capacity to cover an even wider range of drilling activities.

"Currently the land drilling division operates 38 rigs worldwide, with utilisation levels at over 82 per cent and we have a programme of investment in place to further develop our rig capabilities for the future."

Lamprell Energy Ltd was responsible for the tank system, rig up, rig equipment, installation and commissioning.

The sister company to KCA Deutag, Bentec, provided the SCR and the instrumentation. Other main contractors included National Oilwell, Wesco, Sigma, Smith, TOES and Al Hajiry.

The entire rig up was carried out at Lamprell's Jebel Ali facility, which is a 160,000 square metre fabrication and construction yard capable of undertaking up to five complete rig upgrades concurrently.

The works were managed by Lamprell's Oilfield Engineering Division, which specialises in high tech oil field related construction works.

The work was executed between August 2003 and May 2004. In addition to its 3,000hp draw works, T-79 has a GNC (Gross Nominal Capacity) of 1.6 million lbs, and has three 1,600hp mud pumps. In line with KCA Deutag's environmental policies the rig has a range of high specification features.

"We are very proud to have been associated with this project and are looking forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with KCA Deutag on more land rig refurbishments in the future," stated Lamprell's chief executive Peter Whitbread.