Baker Hughes, the world's third largest oilfield services firm, expects drilling activity to pick up in Opec-members Saudi Arabia and Iraq from the second half of this year as delayed projects restart, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
"For the second half of 2011, we expect activity to increase, especially if you look at Saudi and Iraq," Hans-Christian Freitag, Baker Hughes' vice president of marketing in the Middle East told th news agency in an interview.
"Together those two countries will see an increase in activity, with projects that were on hold for some time in Iraq now starting up and rigs are being deployed."
In Iraq, work in oilfields being developed by foreign oil companies is going ahead "normally" and faster than contracted, the country's deputy prime minister for energy Hussain Al-Shahristani said.
Alasdair Shiach, vice president and managing director of Baker Hughes in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain told Reuters in the same interview he did not expect oil prices to go below the $80 per barrel level.