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USA: Helix Sells Its Three Pipelay Vessels

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. has agreed to sell its three pipelay vessels, the Caesar, Express, Intrepid and related equipment in separate transactions for total cash consideration of $252,750,000.

On October 15, 2012, Helix entered into an agreement to sell the Caesar, Express and related equipment to Coastal Trade Limited for a total of $238,250,000. The sale of these assets is expected to close in two stages as each vessel completes its existing contractual backlog. The Express closing is expected to occur in February 2013 and the Caesar closing is expected to occur in July 2013. Helix has received a $50 million deposit in connection with this transaction which is only refundable in limited circumstances. The closing of this transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

In a separate transaction, on September 26, 2012 Helix sold its pipelay vessel, Intrepid, to Stabbert Maritime Holdings, LLC for $14,500,000.

Helix will retain its Ingleside, Texas spoolbase facility and provide pipelay spooling services to the market.

Owen Kratz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix, stated, “As we previously discussed, our strategy is to aggressively invest and grow our Well Intervention and Robotics businesses. We see the divestiture of our pipelay fleet as an important step in accelerating our corporate strategy.”

Subsea World News – USA: Helix Sells Its Three Pipelay Vessels.

GulfMark Orders Two Platform Supply Vessels from BAE Systems (USA)

GulfMark Americas, Inc. has selected BAE Systems’ shipyard in Mobile, Alabama to build two new platform supply vessels that will serve offshore drilling operations. The contract reflects continued growth in U.S. commercial shipbuilding for BAE Systems and a major step forward in the company’s support to the oil and gas industry.

Each of the GulfMark vessels will be qualified under the U.S. Jones Act and will measure 288 feet long and 62 feet wide. The selection also includes options to build two additional platform supply vessels in the future.

“GulfMark is excited about partnering with BAE Systems on this important project,” said David Rosenwasser, chief operating officer of GulfMark Offshore. “BAE Systems demonstrated unique capabilities that are essential to us, and we look forward to building a long-term relationship going forward.”

The design for the BAE Systems-built Green DP2 vessels will be provided by MMC Ship Design & Marine Consulting, Ltd. of Poland and will be based on similar platform supply vessels currently under construction for GulfMark abroad. The new vessels will be U.S. flagged and will support the anticipated future demand in the Gulf of Mexico offshore market, as well as other areas around the world as necessary.

“This contract reinforces our commitment to new construction in the commercial market and strengthens BAE Systems’ position as a highly competitive and financially stable builder of technically sophisticated ships,” said Richard McCreary, vice president of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. “We continue to grow our backlog of projects and build our workforce in Mobile.”

The GulfMark contract is part of a recent expansion at the Mobile shipyard. Last month, the company teamed with Mid Ocean Tanker Company and Alterna Capital to complete the American Phoenix, a U.S. flag/Jones Act-qualified product chemical tanker. Measuring 616 feet long and 105 feet wide, it is the largest vessel ever built and launched in the State of Alabama. BAE Systems has also begun construction on the MV Magdalen, a trailing suction hopper dredge that is scheduled to be delivered in 2014.

In addition to the vessels under construction in Mobile, BAE Systems announced in June that it was awarded a contract with Great Lakes Dock & Dredge Company to build two dump scows, which are used for dredging operations. Construction on the 262-foot-long dump scows is expected to start in October.

BAE Systems currently employs more than 650 people in Mobile and expects to hire an additional 275 workers there by the end of this year.

With state-of-the-art craft shops and fabrication facilities, no job is too big or too small for BAE Systems — from container and supply vessels to mega-yachts and tugs. Serving both military and commercial markets, the company operates six full-service shipyards in Mobile, Alabama; San Francisco and San Diego, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

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Statoil Charters Light Well Intervention Vessels to Increase Recovery

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Statoil has awarded contracts for new light well intervention (LWI) vessels. These “category A” units will contribute to increased recovery from Statoil’s approximately 500 operated subsea wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Statoil has on behalf of relevant licensees awarded a contract to Island Offshore Management and Eide Marine Services for the charter of a total of three LWI vessels.

These purpose-built vessels are used for performing light well interventions, well operations and well maintenance without a riser-based system. Statoil can reduce well intervention costs by about 60% by utilizing a LWI vessel instead of a conventional rig.

“Performing these types of conventional jobs on subsea wells with low volumes of oil in place is expensive. The LWI vessels ensure both cost-efficient and safe operations,” says Statoil’s head of drilling and well Øystein Arvid Håland.

“Having more and new vessels of this category also helps increase recovery from fields on stream by opening new zones in the well, and stopping water production downhole.”

The contracts are worth a total of NOK 9.4 billion (USD 1.57 billion).

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Island Offshore vessels Island Frontier and Island Wellserver, which already have contracts with Statoil, have been awarded new five-year contracts. Eide Well Intervention, a new supplier in this segment for Statoil, has been awarded an eight-year contract for their new build, which employs a completely new technology.

The contracts with both companies come into effect in the spring of 2015, and include two options to extend for another two years.

A growing number of discoveries are developed via subsea wells, and it is important both to have equipment capable of maintaining these and to avoid using conventional drilling rigs for this type of work.

The rig market on the NCS is characterized by an aging rig fleet, and it is necessary to ensure sufficient and adequate rig capacity at sustainable rates. To address this, Statoil has put light LWI vessels – category A units – into service on a large scale.

“We have great ambitions and a long-term perspective on the NCS. Using purpose-built rigs and vessels in our operations is an important part of Statoil’s rig strategy. The high number of subsea wells in the future will require maintenance, and we are securing capacity in order to meet this need,” says Statoil’s chief procurement officer Jon Arnt Jacobsen.

“Island Offshore has delivered solid services and we expect the same going forward. At the same time we are pleased to have increased the number of suppliers in this market, and through the Eide Well Intervention newbuild we are also employing the latest available technology. Together these three vessels will provide us with an efficient service fleet for light well intervention services.”

Statoil has been pursuing riserless well intervention in subsea wells since 2000, and the technology has steadily improved.

The category A units will perform services for Statoil and the partners on the Åsgard, Norne, Gullfaks, Oseberg, Heidrun, Snøhvit, Tyrihans, Tordis/Vigdis, Snorre, Statfjord and Sleipner fields.

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STX OSV to Build Two OSCVs for Siem Offshore (Norway)

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STX OSV Holdings Limited (“STX OSV”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of offshore and specialized vessels,  has secured new contracts for the design and construction of two Offshore Subsea Construction Vessels (“OSCV”) for Siem Offshore in Norway.

The vessels will be of STX OSV’s OSCV 11 design. The vessels will have an overall length of 121 meters, a beam of 22 meters and will be equipped with a 250t AHC crane.

Deliveries are scheduled from STX OSV Brattvaag in Norway in 3Q and 4Q 2013. The hulls of the vessels will be delivered from STX OSV Tulcea in Romania.  STX OSV also has two Platform Supply Vessels under construction in Brazil for the same customer.

Siem Offshore Inc. is an owner and operator of modern support vessels for the global oil and gas service industry. The Company has currently a fleet of 44 vessels, of which 5 are under construction. The fleet includes large Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessels, Platform Supply Vessels, and other support vessels. Siem Offshore is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

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Iran ‘definitely’ closing Strait of Hormuz over EU oil embargo

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Iran ‘denintely’ shutting down Strait of Hormuz if EU bans oil

Tensions in the Gulf could reach a breaking point as a senior Iranian official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if an EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil, the semi-official Fars news agency reports.

With Washington’s decision to deploy a second carrier strike group in the Gulf, the prospect of all-out war in the region is becoming increasingly likely.

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Gulf of Mexico Records Largest Demand for Specialised Offshore Vessels

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Infield Systems have made a report on the offshore construction activity demand in order to recognize key regions and gauge supply developments stressing the possibility for activity increase due to the arrival of transcontinental pipelines and the deepwater tie-in of various satellite wells matched to an increased level of subsea installations. Demand is expected to reach its peak during 2015.

North America, particularly the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), has been recording the largest demand level mainly because of the availability of assets.

A considerable growth is expected in Asia and West Africa to 2016, supported by West African projects perceived as one of the key constituents of the emergent deepwater market and the region is seen as a key to a continued utilization of strategic assets. The Asian market features numerous countries including Malaysia, India, China and Indonesia, each reflecting differing dynamics, providing a slightly different opportunity for vessel operators who are keen to secure high utilization.

The global recession has affected all offshore developments and oil companies forcing them to restructure their capital cost commitments together with their offshore expansion plans.

Considerable confidence in Global financial markets has been regained. The declining oil price trend seen in Q2 2011 stabilized during Q3 2011. Greatly depending on whether the major economies return to recession, the global oil demand is anticipated to grow, although at a slower rate than expected.

Infield Systems strongly believe that the level of activity for specialist vessels will increase as E&P ventures expect to rise as a result of exploited reserves.

Vessel operators dealing with harsh and remote environments are most likely to be at the forefront of the expected growth. However, Infield Systems expects the global fleet to become more technologically advanced.

Infield Systems’ Global Perspective Specialist Vessels Market Report To 2016 is dedicated to the construction and construction support vessels that are employed in the development of offshore oil and gas fields. The third edition of this ground breaking report provides an in depth analysis of global and regional trends and the supply and demand dynamics for the period 2007 through to 2016.

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