Challenger LTD

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Challenger LTD
Industry Energy & Environment
Founded 1991
Headquarters Heliopolis Cairo, Egypt
Key people
Hassan Tatanaki (Chairman)
Mohamed Darwish (Operations)
Hatem Fakhr (Finance)
Products Drilling
Number of employees
Over 1000

Challenger LTD is a provider of contract oil and gas land drilling and workover services.


Challenger is based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and is currently led by Chairman Hassan Tatanaki.[1] The company was founded in 1991 and operated first in Africa later expanding into the Middle East.


Challenger Limited is a provider of contract oil and gas land well drilling and work over services. The company owns and operates 25 drilling rigs in Libya providing drilling and work-over services for oil, gas, and water wells, with offices in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Workover refers to any kind of oil well intervention involving invasive techniques, such as wireline, coiled tubing or snubbing. More specifically though, it will refer to the expensive process of pulling and replacing a Completion (oil well).

It has an extensive client base, including several national oil companies as well as international corporations such as Agip/Eni, Total, Marathon Oil, Veba and Verenex Energy. Challenger works as a regular subcontractor to the state-owned National Oil Corporation of Libya. Challenger is one of the oldest drilling companies in Africa, and particularly in Libya. Since inception, the company has grown every year producing impressive financial results. Challenger is a private company limited by shares registered in the General Registry of the Isle of Man, G.B. It operates as a commercial entity through a network of branches in Liechtenstein, the Middle East and Africa.[2] Financial Consultants and audit firms include KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Products and Services[edit]

A workover rig.
  • Challenger - 14 OIME SL-7
  • Challenger - 19 National 80-B Trailerized
  • Challenger - 23 IRI- CABOT-900-Truck Mounted
  • Kenworth Trucks - (953-50 Ton, C500-35 Ton and Foremost Delta-3)
  • Trucks & Trailers - (Mercedes, Nissan Patrol, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Pickup and MAN)
  • Oshkosh Trucks
  • Loaders - (Caterpillar & Volvo)
  • Excavators - (Caterpillar -D7)

VC Bank Acquisition[edit]

In 2006, Venture Capital Bank (VC Bank), a Bahrain-based investment bank, along with its partner, the U.S. private equity firm Global Emerging Markets (GEM), acquired a significant stake in Challenger. The acquisition cost roughly $50 million and was co-financed by VC Bank and GEM. This transaction demonstrated that the MENA region contains several attractive, yet obscured, investment opportunities represented in privately held companies such as Challenger.[3]

The investment is beneficial to both parties, allowing Challenger to achieve its growth plan and helping VC Bank to achieve its objectives of supporting companies in the MENA region. Challenger Chairman Hassan Tatanaki said that "amongst alternative financing routes available, Challenger's management decided to partner with VC Bank and GEM to fuel and expedite its capacity expansion plans and its geographical coverage." Tatanaki added that "in the oil sector, with Libya in particular, oil production in the 1970s was more than 3 million bpd compared to today's levels of 1.6 million bpd. With proven oil reserves of 41.5 Gbbl (6.60×109 m3) of mainly sweet light crude oil in January 2007, an aggressive plan has been introduced by the Libyan government to enhance production capabilities to 3 million bpd by 2010. Since the lifting of sanctions, exploration concessions have been granted to international exploration companies, which hope to drill 50 exploration wells per year."

VC Bank CEO Abdullatif Mohammed Janahi added, “our investment in Challenger will help the company snatch the exceptional growth potential in Libya and enter international markets. Soaring oil prices have brought about a supply/demand imbalance of oil rigs worldwide, leading oil and gas companies to spend more on exploration and production. This has, in turn, increased demand for oil drilling contractors such as Challenger.”

Challenger Limited: Selected Clients[edit]

Client Years of Operation Area of Operation Country Services
LibyaAgoco 1991-current Sarir field  Libya Drilling, workover
United KingdomLasmo 1993-94 Wadi Borjuj  Libya Drilling, workover
LibyaWaha 1994 El Zahra  Libya Drilling, workover
Republic of IrelandIPC-Dublin 1997-97 Kilwa  Tanzania Drilling
AustriaOMV 1997 Field 103  Libya Drilling, workover
BelgiumFina 1997 El Hamada  Libya Drilling, workover
United StatesMarathon 1998 Manzala field  Egypt Drilling
SpainKhalda/Repsol 1998-99 West Desert  Egypt Drilling
United StatesTotal 1999-current El Mabrouk  Libya Drilling
ItalyAgiba-Agip 1999 West Desert  Egypt Drilling
SwedenIPLL 1999-current El Naka field  Libya Drilling
LibyaSOC 2000-current SOC fields  Libya Drilling
GermanyVeba 2000 Different fields  Libya Drilling, workover
United KingdomPerenco Oil Co. 2000-01 EchiraX Concession  Gabon Drilling
LibyaZueitina 2001-current Field 103  Libya Drilling, work over

1. USGS 2002 (Bbbl = "billion barrels of oil").

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gulf Financiers Seek to Invest in Libya, Africa Intelligence
  2. ^ Silicon Valley-San Jose Business Journal: Challenger profile
  3. ^ VC Bank Acquires Stake in Challenger, VC Bank, Nov. 21, 2006


External links[edit]