Key GCC oil producers Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman have kept upstream activity at near-record levels so far this year.

The number of active drilling rigs has dipped somewhat from record highs seen last year but Gulf countries are so far proving good to their word and maintaining upstream spending, or more accurately they have only cut spending to the extent that they can squeeze contractors (MEES, 11 March).

According to oilfield service firm Baker Hughes, the Saudi rig...