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USA: Helix Marks Strong Market Demand for Deepwater Well Intervention Services

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. announced that it has been awarded its initial customer contractual commitments for the Helix 534. The Helix 534 was acquired in August from Transocean and is undergoing modifications and upgrades necessary for conversion into a well intervention vessel at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The Helix 534 is scheduled to sail from Singapore during the first quarter of 2013 and after transit to the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to be placed into service in late second quarter 2013. Backlog for the Helix 534 involves work in the Gulf of Mexico and extends into 2016.

Meanwhile, the Q4000 has extended its strong contractual backlog through 2014, with strong customer interest into 2016.

Helix also announced that the Skandi Constructor has also received its initial contractual awards. The Skandi Constructor is a chartered vessel and is expected to enter the Helix well intervention fleet in the spring of 2013. Its initial contract involves work in the North Sea and follows with a project off the eastern Canadian coast.

Helix’s two existing North Sea based well intervention vessels, the Seawell and the Well Enhancer, have been awarded customer contracts into the fourth quarter of 2013.

Owen Kratz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix, stated, “The recent contract awards for our two new additions to the well intervention fleet, the Helix 534 and the Skandi Constructor, as well as the growing backlog for our existing fleet, reflects the strong market demand for deepwater well intervention services as well as Helix’s market leadership for these services. Furthermore, customer interest for our newbuild semisubmersible well intervention vessel, the Q5000, remains high. The Q5000 is currently under construction at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore and is scheduled to enter the fleet in early 2015.”

Subsea World News – USA: Helix Marks Strong Market Demand for Deepwater Well Intervention Services.

Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea)

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Seadrill continues to see strong demand for modern ultra-deepwater (UDW) drilling rigs driven by high oil prices and large deep-water discoveries and increased development drilling. Specific interest, mainly from operators in West Africa and the Americas, demonstrate a trend towards higher day rates and longer term contracts.

With yard costs at very attractive levels and Seadrill’s proven track record with respect to successful new build construction the Company today announced the order of a sixth drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with delivery in the second quarter of 2014. The expected total project cost is less than USD600 million, in line with the 5 units under construction and with delivery in 2013 and 2014. The yard contract was originally between a party related to Seadrill’s major shareholder Hemen Holding and Samsung, as part of a larger shipyard deal, but Seadrill has been given the right to take over the contract at original terms.

Seadrill’s current new build program now includes 17 units: 6 ultra deep-water drillships, 1 harsh environment semi submersible, 5 tender rigs and 5 jack ups, all to be delivered in the period from Q4 2012 to Q1 2015. In addition, Seadrill has received a fixed price option for a further ultra deep-water drillship. The six drillships under construction are of the same design and will have a hook load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000 feet targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West and East Africa. Also, these units will be outfitted with seven ram configuration of the Blow out Preventer (BOP) stack and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP.

CEO of Seadrill Alf Thorkildsen says:

“With the available capacity in 2013 and 2014 Seadrill is uniquely positioned among its peers to take advantage of strong demand for drilling services with high dayrates and longer charter contracts. We will continue to aggressively build Seadrill’s earnings and further expansion of the building program is expected in the months to come. Together, these developments provide for continued value creation and an increased dividend capacity.”

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GDF Suez Sees Strong China LNG Demand

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China’s demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to surge five-fold to 44 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2020, while the emergence of 10 new importing countries in Asia could add another 27 million tonnes of new demand each year, an executive from GDF Suez SA told an industry conference on Wednesday.

Booming Asian demand, combined with uncertainty over the pace of new supplies, could create lasting opportunities for supplies as far afield as the United States to flow into the Pacific, said Nicholas Zanen, vice-president of trading at U.S. energy company Cheniere Energy Inc .

Philip Olivier, president of GDF Suez’s LNG unit, said LNG demand in Asia and the Middle East was expected to grow by 95 million tonnes per year from 2010-2020 and although there was enough flexible supply in the medium term to sate Asian demand, new plants urgently needed to be build to meet long-term growth.

We cannot underestimate LNG demand in China and India, and there is little additional volume available from the Atlantic Basin,” Olivier said.

GDF’s bullish forecast on China was in line with forecasts by state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp, which estimated the country’s 2015 imports at 30 mtpa, driven by a surge in LNG-fuelled vehicles and development of LNG storage facilities.

China imported 9.4 million tonnes of LNG in 2010.

To ride on Asia’s growth, Olivier told Reuters that the company was focused on building a supply base in Australia via its proposed Bonaparte floating LNG project.

Australia is our No.1 priority at the moment because of its stability and proximity to Asian markets,” he said.

Although Australia’s gas exports are set to triple by 2017 to overtake Qatar as the world’s top LNG exporter, Olivier said the supply growth would not be enough to take away the premium in Asian prices.

(reuters)

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