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Q7000: Helix Orders Semi-Submersible Rig from Sembcorp Marine

Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary Jurong Shipyard has secured a US$346 million contract to build a second semi-submersible well intervention rig for Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (Helix), a market leader in subsea well intervention services.

Scheduled for delivery in mid-2016, the semi-submersible light well intervention rig will be built based on a design jointly developed by Sembcorp Marine Technology Pte Ltd (SMTP), a fully-owned Research & Development subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine, and Helix. Featuring the latest technology, the rig – named Q7000 by Helix – is an efficient purpose-designed platform with capabilities to perform a wide variety of tasks, including conventional and extended top hole drilling, subsea construction, decommissioning well intervention, coiled tubing operations and twin ROV deployment.

The Dynamic Positioning (DP) class 3 unit has the ability to operate in deepwater operations worldwide, including the North Sea and West of Africa.

William Gu, General Manager of Offshore Division said: “We are honoured that Helix has chosen to build their second semi-submersible well intervention rig with us. This repeat order is significant as it testifies as to their trust and confidence in our design and building capabilities in rigs with well intervention and subsea capabilities that are customised to meet this new growth segment of the market. We are committed to build on our partnership with Helix and to meet their stringent standards of quality, safety and reliability.”

Owen Kratz, Helix’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to work with our trusted partner Jurong Shipyard on this second unit of the semisubmersible well intervention rig, to be named Q7000.”

The above is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of Sembcorp Marine for the year ending December 31, 2013.

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McDermott signs agreement for spool base services in Gulf of Mexico

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HOUSTON – McDermott International, Inc. says it has signed a 10-year frame agreement with Helix Subsea Construction, Inc. for spool base services in the Gulf of Mexico.

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“This agreement allows McDermott, when contracting with Helix, to offer full-service, shore-based pipeline stalking and spooling services from Helix’s premier 120-acre Gulf of Mexico spool base at Ingleside, Texas, to pursue deepwater and ultra-deepwater installation projects,” explained Stephen M. Johnson, chairman of the board, president and CEO, McDermott.

“By combining Helix’s established spool base services with McDermott’s state-of-the-art welding technology to support our newest subsea construction vessels and expanding subsea engineering resources, we can further offer full-service engineering, procurement, construction and installation for deepwater and ultra-deepwater subsea projects for Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic customers.”

Through the cooperation agreement, McDermott would fabricate the required mile-long stalks at Ingleside, and employ its own in-house automatic welding equipment, technology and technicians. The company says that these facilities and personnel will enable it to meet the stringent welding criteria required for deepwater subsea pipelines. The spool base is also designed for fabrication of pipeline end terminations, pipeline end manifolds, subsea manifolds and jumpers.

McDermott’s subsea construction vessels North Ocean 102 (“NO102”) and new-build lay vessel North Ocean 105 (“LV105”), due to be completed later this summer, both have reel-lay capabilities. LV105 is designed to lay both flexible and rigid pipe up to 16-in. diameter, with tension and hang-off clamp capacities of 440 tons and 550 tons, respectively. NO102 offers flexible and umbilical installation and is equipped with a 330-ton low squeeze pressure single tensioner and high capacity carousel.

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McDermott says it will employ strict welding procedures, advanced welding technology and technical experts to meet or exceed client welding criteria for deepwater subsea pipelines, from the Ingleside-based spool facility. Photo courtesy of Helix Subsea Construction, Inc.

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USA: Deep Down Inc. Receives Subsea Equipment Orders

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Deep Down, Inc. , an oilfield services company specializing in complex deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production distribution system support services, today announced it has been awarded multiple contracts for subsea hardware and deployment equipment orders worth in excess of $2.6 million.

Two orders were placed by a major controls OEM and the third order placed by an international installation contractor.

Deep Down, Inc. will be manufacturing Umbilical Termination Assemblies (UTA), Flying Leads, Umbilical Termination Heads (UTH), Rapid Deployment Cartridges, Moray® and Flying Lead Deployment Frames; the majority of the work is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter 2012, with the remainder completed in the beginning of the second quarter 2012. The products and equipment will be used on three international projects in the Far East and Mediterranean and one project in the Gulf of Mexico.

The patent-pending Moray® Termination System contains a light-weight and compact termination head and very flexible steel tube bundle allowing for easy make up of the heads by the ROV on the ocean floor.

Ron Smith, Chief Executive Officer stated, “These awards continue to build upon Deep Down’s expansion into the international oil and gas market. Deep Down continues to gain recognition outside of the Gulf of Mexico as a solution provider. By working with our customers, we are able to provide them with innovative cost effective solutions for their offshore projects.”

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Follow the “MONEY”: A Look at Solyndra’s Lender

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Written by Bruce Krasting

If you want to find out what happened with Solyndra you have to follow the money. I did. The half billion dollars of taxpayer dough that is probably lost in Sol came from the Federal Financing Bank (“FFB”). It’s worth a look at this bank to see what else is going on.

FFB is a bank that is owned and controlled by the US Treasury. The chairman of the Board is the TSec. (Tim Geithner). With the (big) exception of the Post Office all of the loans at FFB are guaranteed by government agencies. Technically speaking, FFB has no risks on loans guaranteed by an agency like the DOE. But I don’t think that should absolve Tim Geithner of any responsibility regarding the losses the country faces with Solyndra. If he, (or anyone else at Treasury) puts their pen to a ½ billion loan, they better well know where the taxpayers money is going. That didn’t happen.

FFB has been around for 40+ years. I believe it has always been a bank that has been used and abused by whoever happened to be running the show at Treasury. For example; from 9/30/2008 (Pre – Tim and O) to 9/30/3009 (Post – Tim and O) the FFB lent out $17.1 billion to the nice folks at the National Credit Union Administration’s “Liquidity Fund”. NCU is the guarantor of the deposits in the country’s Credit Unions (similar to FDIC). They were up against it in 2009. They had had no money left in the till to insure that those deposits would be safe. A bailout was needed to avoid a crisis. But rather than have a public debate about this, the FFB just borrowed some money and wrote a check to NCU. Problem solved.

The following are the balance sheet assets of the FFB for fiscal year end 2008 and 09. Note that there were no outstanding loans guaranteed by the DOE in 08. But a year later the number had jumped up to nearly a Bil. It was clear back then that the FFB was rapidly becoming a policy tool of the new administration. By June 30th 2011 the DOE guaranteed loans at FFB has grown to $5.2B. Clearly the Administration is (was?) using the bank to facilitate its objectives.

Federal Financing Bank

The borrowers identified as the beneficiaries of the FFB’s deep pockets include:

Abound Solar
Arizona Solar – UNC
Beacon
Great Basin Transmission
Kahuku Wind Power
Solyndra
Solar Partner I
Solar Partner II
And Solar Partner(s) III – VIII

The names on this list are the problems to be for the DOE. (I can’t wait to find out who we are partnering up with on the I – VIII deals)

The FFB/DOE has also been lending big bucks to some well know names.
Fisker Automotive, Inc.
Tesla Motors, Inc.
Ford Motors

These successful companies owe the FFB a total of $3.8 billion. There is one company that I don’t recognize. But they got $35mm in May at a real fine rate:

Diagram 2

The Post Office has $12.9 large out with FFB. The PO has a debt limit of $14b. They will hit that in 2012 (and then go broke). The FFB has been funding the operating deficits at the PO for years. When O took office it was $7b. Playing, “Hide the losses at the PO” is a very old game in D.C.

The FFB also has an active role in providing the much needed lucre for Foreign Military Sales. As of June 30 there was $349mm of IOU’s. (I wonder who those “I”s are. Probably stable governments, right?) If you’re keeping score, the amount outstanding when Bush left office was 50% higher than today.

$33 billion (61% of FFB’s book) is out to Rural Electrics. It would appear that many parts of the country don’t have adequate utilities. Nor do they have the resources to fix the problems. The solution has been to lend them dirt-cheap money with functionally no maturity. This is just a silly accounting game to avoid recognizing that needed infrastructure expense(s) should have been on the budget long ago. This is a close-up of a section of the FFB report:

FFB Report

Note the long maturities and % rates. 35-year money for Lake Land (sounds like a nice place) at Treasuries +30. The following is a pic of all the re-financing’s for May and June. I shrunk it because it would just clutter the page; it’s that long. Blow it up on your own or go to the FFB site and look up Press Releases. This goes on every month of the year. This stinks of boondoggle and pork. What are the administrative costs to oversee this? There has to be a better way.

I’m all for education. We’re dead in the water without it. I think there is a role for the government to assist in this. But the FFB? Why are they making loans? Is this just another way to avoid an expense? What are these guy’s in D.C. thinking? Is everything “on the arm” down there? Again, a close up and the totals for two months. This is silly, right?

FFB Totals
FFB May and June

A minor bad loan is the $493mm of Hope Now Bonds. A good chunk of this is still in cash. But not for long. Treasury is going to use some of this money for the big mortgage ReFi that is in the offing. When that happens there will be no hope of repayment of the Hope Bonds.

There is one more attractive feature for the Chairman of the FFB. With the exception of the notes from the PO, it’s all off balance sheet. When the “Debt to the Penny” calculation is made by the Treasury, the (net of PO) $33b at FFB borrowings are excluded.

In Wall Street terms, that makes the FFB a SPIV and it’s a whorehouse.

Note: I’ve written about the FFB before. I smelled trouble with this bank. My nose was working.

By. Bruce Krasting

Source: http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com

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