It’s as though oil drilling has reached a holding pattern off the Red Sea coast of Egypt as the media, investors, drilling companies, governments and NGOs work to establish or even decide on the cause of the oil spill off the coast of Egypt’s Red Sea last week. Some say the spill was caused by a leaking rig; others blame the spill on the hot weather releasing oil from previous bilge dumps (like from Russian tankers). But stocks of oil and gas companies invested in the region are taking a nosedive. Bloomberg reports that stocks of the Maridive & Oil Services SAE, an Egyptian marine and oil services company, fell to their lowest levels in the past 13 months. The spill, lo and behold, will hurt the company’s profits.

Maridive which trades on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (MOS), lost 4.4 percent to $3.26, the lowest close since May 2009, valuing the company at $834.6 million; stocks have declined 12 percent since the Oil Ministry announced June 20 that there was a spill off Sahl Hasheesh, a resort town on the Eastern coast, reports Bloomberg.

“Maridive has the capability to clean up such a spill so this should in fact have a positive effect on the company,” said Karim Osman, a Cairo-based equity analyst.

According to their profile: Maridive has a history spanning 31 years and is one of the oldest companies in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region to provide offshore marine and oil support services.

Maridive owns and operates 43 vessels and 11 barges, and has embarked on an aggressive expansion plan, contracting for 15 new vessels and two barges to be delivered by 2011. MOS was able to expand its global footprint by winning contracts in the Gulf Area, Caspian Sea, Mexico, Northern and Western African countries in addition to the Far East.

The company’s global business model is evident in its diversified revenue base with approximately 86% of 2007 revenues being generated from outside Egypt.

(Source: green prophet)