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Norway: STX OSV Strengthens Specialist Technology with New Acquisitions

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STX OSV Holdings Limited (“STX OSV”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of offshore and specialized vessels, announces that it is strengthening its technology and engineering competence through two separate transactions.

Seaonics AS (“Seaonics”), a subsidiary of STX OSV, is in the process of acquiring a shareholding interest in Castor Drilling Solution AS (“CDS”). Based in Kristiansand, Norway, CDS is a newly established company with specialist competence in offshore drilling technology.

The investment is expected to give STX OSV new insight into this segment of the offshore market, and give opportunities for development of integrated solutions primarily related to the growing market of Offshore Subsea Construction Vessels (“OSCV”). The investment, to be completed in two tranches by the end of the year, will give Seaonics a 34% stake in CDS.

Separately, STX OSV has entered into an agreement to acquire 70% shareholding interest in Brevik Partners AS (“Brevik Partners”). Established in 2010, Brevik Partners is an engineering company specializing in offshore technology and equipment. The investment in the company, to be renamed STX OSV Engineering Brevik, is expected to strengthen STX OSV’s ability to develop new concepts and integrated solutions for offshore and specialized vessels. The proposed transaction is expected to be closed by the end of May.

Both investments are in line with STX OSV’s strategy of increasing its technology and engineering competence in select parts of the offshore value chain. Through focused investments, STX OSV aims to strengthen its ability to develop and introduce vessels equipped with cutting-edge innovation and technology.

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Expro Strengthens its Foothold in Ghana. Opens New Facility

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Leading international oilfield services company Expro has officially opened its new custom-built facility in Ghana, West Africa.

Expro has made a significant financial investment to create a world-class base for its experienced team in Ghana, highlighting its commitment to the area and demonstrating a determination to meet the needs of the market.

Expro currently operates in Takoradi with teams working on the Tullow Oil Jubilee contract, supplying deepwater electro-hydraulic subsea services, well testing and a range of other services. Expro has been involved with Tullow in Ghana from the exploration & appraisal phase of Jubilee through to the fast-track development phase.

The new site allows all project activity, including deepwater subsea tools, well testing, clean-up, sampling and PVT (pressure, volume, temperature) services, to be co-ordinated and monitored from a fully integrated facility. The bespoke 8,000m2 facility, which houses extensive workshop and office space, has been developed around ‘modular concepts’ which provide efficient work areas and can expand with greater ease, as future operations in the region dictate. This impressive site has also been designed with minimising the potential impact on the environment in mind.

West Africa has been a major focus for Expro in recent years with a number of significant contracts secured. Almost 700 people are currently working across Expro’s Southern & West Africa region, and the company is continuing to invest in people, technology and infrastructure to position itself for growth opportunities.

SWA Region Director Brett Lestrange: “Having a permanent operational base in Ghana will ensure we can offer the most efficient and effective service, as well as continuing to develop our presence in the challenging subsea deepwater environments. The Jubilee contract is an important part of our future plans in the region, and Expro’s capabilities in all aspects of well flow management mean we are well positioned as Ghana develops through 2011 and beyond.”

Recruiting and developing a local workforce plays an important part in Expro’s business in Ghana, with the company taking pride in its approach to continuing to develop a nationalised workforce. The new operational base incorporates training facilities to ensure the workforce receive the training they need to benefit them personally as well as benefiting the business.

Mr Lestrange said: “We have high expectations for the new facility. Its opening, combined with the expertise of our people and our latest technology developments, will allow us to continue to deliver to the highest standards for our customers at this exciting period for the region.”

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