Leighton Offshore Awarded Qatar Gas SPM Maintenance Project

Leighton Offshore has been awarded a contract for the replacement of floating hoses on the SPM system operated by Qatar Gas.

Ras Laffan Terminal Operations, part of Qatargas Operating Company Ltd, operates and maintains two SPM CALM buoys approximately 54 Km offshoreQatar1_large from Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar.

Leighton CEO Boyd Merrett said "We look forward to working with Qatar Gas to deliver this project. The Leighton Offshore O&M Team has more than 100 years cumulative experience in SPM related O&M works scopes with a strong focus on safe and environmentally sound operating practices."

"Last year Leighton operated and maintained the Iraq Offshore Crude Oil Export system, successfully managing the export of over 140 million barrels of oil. We have the people, systems and equipment to provide innovative solutions for our clients operations and maintenance needs", Mr Merrett added.

Leighton Offshores scope of work includes:

Water Flushing the existing SPM Floating Hoses to make them hydrocarbon free

The removal of existing Floating hoses along with the attachments and accessories,

Dis-assembly of existing Floating Hose Strings.

Inspection and Assembly of new Hose Strings prior to installation,

Installation of New Floating Hose Stings on SPM # 1

Testing and Commissioning of the new Floating Hose Strings

Commissioning support During Loading Operation


Hallin Ullswater Takes Center Stage in New Project at Natuna Gas Field, Indonesia

Hallin Marine, a Superior Energy Services company, announces its return to the Natuna gas field off Indonesia. The project, for a major engineering procedure construction, installation and commissioning contractor, will be executed using the Ullswater subsea operations vessel. Total project value is approximately US$6 million.

“This latest Indonesian contract is scheduled to commence in June with an estimated duration of 30 days,” explains Hallin East Division managing director Rik Zwinkels. “It will centre on an offshore construction campaign to support the laying of 4,200 metres of flexible pipelines and the installation of rigid risers at the platform. The job scope includes  provision of project management and engineering services, saturation diving services, pre-lay survey using Hallin’s’ C-ROV work-class remotely operated vehicle and the pre-commissioning of the pipelines, using the subsea operations vessel Ullswater.

“Hallin has a proven track record in this type of flexible pipeline installation including a number of successful projects with our client. This has generated a positive relationship between the offshore personnel, project team and onshore staff of both organisations. Hallin is also an experienced and trusted partner in the Indonesian market.”


Photo: SOV Ullswater

Fully equipped for wellhead servicing, inspection and construction diving aswell as for remotely-operated vehicle support, the 78 metre long by 20.4 metre wide SOV Ullswater incorporates a 15-man saturation diving system capable of operating at 200 metres depth plus a three-man moonpool-launched diving bell. An integral 22 metre diameter helideck enables fast transfer of crew and operating staff. Up to 120 personnel can be accommodated on board.

Discovered in 1970 by Agip (Italy), the Natuna gas field is located approximately 1,100 kilometres north of Jakarta. It is the largest gas field in southeast Asia. Estimated recoverable reserves total around 46 trillion cubic feet.


Saab Receives Order for the Underwater Vehicle System AUV 62

Defense and security company Saab has signed a contract on delivery of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle systems, AUV62, in training configuration. The order has a total value of MSEK 148 and system deliveries will take place during 2014.

SaabThe order comprises the supply of AUV62, the latest version of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle in a configuration as training target for Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) training.

“The AUV62 is a competent and advanced system that will enhance and strengthen the customer’s underwater capabilities. We are of course very satisfied to have been able to secure yet another order for the system,” says Görgen Johansson, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Dynamics.

The AUV62 is an advanced and highly modern Autonomous Underwater Vehicle available in several different configurations and already selected by a number of customers.

Equipped with an Acoustic payload it is an advanced and capable system for cost-efficient training of a navy’s ASW forces. The AUV62 is an artificial acoustic target that mimics a submarine in a way that is compatible with any torpedo- and sonar system on the market today. The AUV62 system fully replaces the use of a submarine in the role as a maneuvering training target.

Equipped with a Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) payload it is an efficient system for Mine Search, Reconnaissance and Seabed Mapping. With the AUV62 Saab offers a state-of-the-art Autonomous Underwater System for demanding customers investing in the future.

The industry’s nature is such that depending on circumstances concerning the product and customer, information regarding the customer will not be announced.

Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defense to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.


Petrotechnics Secures Investment from BGF to Accelerate International Growth

petrotechnics-logoPetrotechnics,a global leader of software solutions to improve frontline operational performance and risk management in hazardous industries, today announces the completion of £6 million investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF).

The investment will help fuel the next stage in the company’s aggressive global growth strategy in new geographies, new talent acquisition and ongoing innovation, including the continued global roll out of its enterprise operational performance and predictive risk software platform, Proscient.

Based in Aberdeen and with offices in Houston, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, Petrotechnics was founded in 1990 and since then has pioneered proven solutions and successfully helped organizations in hazardous industries increase operational performance and improve risk management in the riskiest part of their operations.

Petrotechnics’ software solutions are used on a daily basis by more than 50,000 personnel from some of the biggest businesses in the oil and gas industry, including the three largest independent Oil & Gas Companies. Petrotechnics software is used in frontline operations to help manage operations safely and efficiently across 385 sites on 6 continents including 80% of North Sea and 40% of Gulf of Mexico assets.

Petrotechnics’ leading enterprise software platform, Proscient provides an easier and more dynamic approach for senior management to proactively manage the organization to optimize performance reduce risk.  Proscient manages the execution of frontline work safely and efficiently to help companies maintain asset integrity, workforce safety and the achievement of production targets.

Unlike the older generation of inflexible and static tools such as paper based Permit to Work and Electronic Permit to Work/ISSoW systems, Proscient provides an organization with the capabilities to consistently manage workload against risk according to policies across the organization whether it’s one plant or a global enterprise.

Proscient is designed from the ground up as a robust and flexible off the shelf enterprise application enabling streamlined deployment and ease of use. It delivers hard ROI within months, specifically with a reduction in the number and length of unplanned shutdowns, a decrease in permit and contractor wait times, significant improvements in plan accuracy and plan attainment and most importantly with a positive change in the strength of the organization’s ‘at the plant face’ safety culture.  As an enterprise platform Proscient provides further business value through its integration with other leading enterprise systems used by hazardous industries including IBM Maximo, SAP, Oracle Primavera and Microsoft Project.

It also leverages strategic big data to drive continuous improvement of operational performance. With data on every aspect of work that has occurred and more importantly with what is to come across frontline operations, senior management can use Proscient’s integrated actionable analytics for the insight and enhanced decision making to move the organization from reactive to proactive management.  This consistent generation of data provides the capability to generate role specific metrics that are informative, actionable and improve decision making from the frontline to the boardroom.

“We firmly believe that with BGF’s guidance and contributions we can truly take our organisation to the next level of growth,” said Phil Murray, CEO Petrotechnics.  “We believe there is great potential for oil and gas operators worldwide to significantly improve their operational performance and enhance how they manage operational risk.  A system such as Proscient empowers all levels of management to proactively achieve operational excellence.”

Mike Sibson, BGF Investment Director commented, “Our investment in Petrotechnics is a very exciting opportunity for BGF. Petrotechnics has demonstrated its ability to deliver complex software solutions to major oil and gas companies throughout the world. There is an increased priority on the management of operational risk and safety in hazardous industries, with several major incidents over the last decade demonstrating the potential consequences of poor control of work.

“The company’s large installed base, the new software product Proscient, and the excellent reputation of Petrotechnics is an exciting combination. The investment is a great fit for BGF, which was established to invest growth capital in the UK’s ambitious SMEs. We are also delighted to be backing Phil and the team, who are genuine experts in their field, and who have built the business with no external funding over the last twenty years.” 


BGF was established to provide growth capital to the UK’s ambitious and growing small and medium sized businesses. Petrotechnics represents its fifth investment in the oil and gas sector and brings the total invested by BGF in Scottish SMEs to date to £30m.

Prior to founding Petrotechnics, CEO Phil Murray worked internationally for BP for 10 years in a variety of technical, operational and managerial roles. The business has won a number of industry awards from organisations including the Energy Institute and the Institution of Chemical Engineers, is regularly selected by the Society of Petroleum Engineers to present conference papers.



Imtech Marine Receives Multi-Year Contract for Modernization of Submarines

On May 13,  Imtech Marine signed a contract to be involved in the execution of the capability upkeep program Walrus-class submarines (IP-W) of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The Dutch Defensie Materiel Organisatie granted Imtech Marine Netherlands the assignment to carry out the mechanical, engineering and electrical upgrade works on board the submarines. The assignment will be carried out at the Naval base in Den Helder and will run from 2013 until 2020. IP-W includes a large number of modifications, such as disassembly, assembly and installation of a variety of equipment and systems. This will ensure that the submarines will remain effectively operational in service until at least 2025. The complex project is based on the intensive cooperation between the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Dutch industry and research institutes, with an important role for Imtech Marine.


Apart from extensive conservation work the program also contains replacement of the sonar installation, replacement of the periscope system by anoptronic mast, replacement of the Combat Management System and Internal Communication system, modification of a number of platform systems and the complete redesign of the central radio cabin and electronic cabin. Imtech Marine also plays a role in the installation of the SATCOM systems and the delivery of new consoles for the redesigned combat  information centre.

“It is a great challenge to get this job done within the planned time in the confined space of a submarine with a large team of mechanics, welders, specialists, site managers and quality and safety experts’’, says Harm Kappen, at Imtech Marine responsible for Marketing & Sales in the navy domain. Imtech Marine has been actively involved with the Netherlands Walrus class submarines since the eighties. “Our knowledge and expertise in the naval domain, and in the area of submarines in particular, will be of great value for this assignment”, says Kappen. “As electric system integrator we realize smart and efficient solutions within the available space. During the preparation, design issues such as use of space, weight, ergonomics and safety were extensively and closely examined.”

Leading role

Since 2009 Imtech Marine has had a leading role during the preparations for this major modernization. Two projects have preceded the implementation; the Walrus Engineering Support Project and the Production Engineering Project. Apart from Imtech Marine the companies Nevesbu and Verebus, Nedinsco, Technovia and the research institute TNO were also involved in these preparatory projects.

The Imtech Marine project team will work closely together with the specialist maintenance team of the Royal Netherlands Navy. In the same period the Royal Netherlands Navy will carry out the Multi Annual Maintenance, including another extensive project;  the renewal of the conservation of the hull. This labour intensive job consists of the removal of the current skin, if necessary repairing the hull of the ship and renewal of  the conservation.

Imtech Marine starts in the second half of 2013 with works on board of the HNLMS Zeeleeuw. After that the HNLMS Dolfijn, HNLMS Bruinvis and HNLMS Walrus will follow. The fourth and last submarine will be ready in 2020.


New SubConn® 13 Pin Low Profile Power and Ethernet Connector

The MacArtney Group is pleased to announce the introduction of the new 13 Pin SubConn® Low Profile Power and Ethernet Connector. SubConn_LowProfile_Ethernet

Building on the successful SubConn® Ethernet Connector program - known as the first high speed underwater connector to offer true Ethernet type performance - the new SubConn® Low Profile 13 Pin Power and Ethernet Connector offers a unique set of benefits for operators of underwater systems and equipment.

Connectivity and cost reduction for design optimised underwater systems
In a world where underwater industry operators and developers are continuously pushing the boundaries of what remotely operated and autonomous systems can do underwater - technology advancements and design optimisations in materials, control systems, sensors and not least data and power transmission are the order of the day. Such advances allow, for instance, smaller and more compact ROVs to become increasingly capable and effective at tasks that would previously require much larger vehicles.

At the heart of the development of these compact and capable underwater systems is an accelerating demand for evenly compact, yet still effective and reliable connectivity solutions. The new SubConn® 13 Pin Low Profile Power and Ethernet Connector is developed and manufactured specifically to accommodate these increasing demands.

Power, design optimisation and Gigabit Ethernet

Like the existing standard size SubConn® Power and Ethernet Connector, the new 13 Pin Low Profile version provides Gigabit data speed, signal and power transfer for underwater instruments in one high performance connector. Moreover, the connector comes with an appurtenant special designed SubConn® Combined Power and Ethernet Cable.

While allowing ROVs and other underwater systems and equipment to be powered through the same cable and connector as used for data transfer, the entire solution works to make data and power transmissions faster and less expensive. When one adds the design optimisation capacity provided by the low profile layout of the new SubConn® connector - operators will gain the opportunity assemble more streamlined and effective underwater systems, with sensors, sonar heads and other types of equipment producing less drag.

Experience and extensive testing to ensure performance and reliability

For more than 35 years, the MacArtney Group has been supplying SubConn® - the world's leading range of underwater pluggable connectors - to underwater technology operators across the globe. Drawing on this extensive experience, the new SubConn® Low Profile Power and Ethernet Connector is comprehensively tested at MacArtney's in-house ISO 9001 certified test facilities to run Gigabit Ethernet at water depths up to 6000 meters.

In stock worldwide

The new SubConn® 13 Pin Low Profile Power and Ethernet Connector, along with the appurtenant cable can be ordered from stock through several worldwide MacArtney locations.


First Minister Launches Bibby Offshore New HQ

First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, officially opened subsea installation contractor Bibby Offshore’s brand new purpose-built headquarters, Atmosphere One,  on Tuesday 28 May 2013.


The company recently relocated from Aberdeen Harbor to the new office facility at Prospect Park, Westhill, to provide Bibby Offshore with the additional capacity necessary to support its significant increase in staff numbers and services, as Bibby Offshore’s operations expand both in the UK and internationally.


Bibby Offshore is on track to achieve a turnover of £220million by the end of 2013 and plans to increase this to £650million by 2017, creating more than 100 onshore jobs in the north east.

Bibby_Salmond_004Photo: First Minister Alex Salmond and Howard Woodcock, chief executive of Bibby Offshore officially open Bibby Offshore’s brand new purpose-built headquarters, Atmosphere One in Westhill.

 Bibby Offshore’s Chief Executive Howard Woodcock said: “Continued investment in the development of the energy industry is exceptionally important and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome the First Minister to officially open our new premises.


“The move was essential due to the speed at which we are expanding, the impressive demand for the company’s expertise, and our growth strategy to triple the size of our business around the world in the next four years. We have a number of key initiatives in place to ensure we recruit and train the most talented people in order to ensure the business can continue to grow.”


Earlier this month, Alex Salmond was in the Granite City to unveil plans for an oil and gas training initiative, which will be based in the city, as part of an energy skills initiative designed to take advantage of growth in demand for key skill across the key energy sectors of oil and gas, renewables and transmission systems.


First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Scotland’s energy industry is one of our economic success stories and it is therefore vital that we ensure there is a steady stream of professionals equipped with the skills to keep pace with our potential. That is why companies such as Bibby Offshore, whose parent company has such a long and distinguished maritime heritage, are essential in developing the workforce to keep our energy industry evolving, thriving and contributing to Scotland’s economic success.

“In this, the company’s 10th year in Aberdeen, it is only fitting that they have expanded into new premises and continue to be well positioned to deliver significantly enhanced capabilities for the sector in the future.” 


As part of the official launch of the new building and in line with the company’s 10th Anniversary celebrations, Bibby Offshore extended the invite to the opening of its 53,427 sq.ft, multi-million pound facilities to ‘Bibby Offshore Schools Ambassadors’ from  schools across the UK including Aberdeen, Lerwick, Liverpool and Glasgow.


The visit will allow them to learn about the wealth of career opportunities at Bibby Offshore, throughout Aberdeen city and shire, and in the oil and gas industry as a whole 


The students, between the ages of 11 and 17, will share their experiences with other schools in their areas through producing a report about their visit Bibby Offshore also donated £1000 to each school to be utilised in skills development programs.


Mr Woodcock continued: “Our industry is dependent on attracting talented, skilled people and to meet global demand, it’s essential that young people are aware of the excellent opportunities which are available in the North East and within the energy sector as a whole.


“All of the schools were thrilled to get involved and have been really enthusiastic throughout the whole process. We targeted schools from across the country, with Liverpool and Aberdeen being obvious choices due to the significant presence Bibby Offshore has in these cities.


One of Bibby Offshore’s core values is to realise the talent of its people, having introduced schemes that encourage individuals to meet their potential including the Engineer Conversion Course, Graduate Training Scheme, Future Managers Programme and Bibby Academy. Since starting the Conversion Course in September 2012, the company has added an additional 12 engineers to its staff and is planning another intake of eight in September 2013. Fourteen students have had the chance to experience the Graduate Training Programme and Bibby Offshore has plans to recruit a further eight this September. The Future Managers Programme has also been a great success – with 65% of those who have completed the programme having gone onto be promoted into managerial or lead roles.   .


Mr Woodcock continued: “Aberdeen City and shire is the Global Centre of excellence within the subsea sector and the innovation which is present here is setting the benchmark for the rest of the world. To ensure it continues to prosper, it’s important that there is continued investment in the industry, through training and skills development.


“Over the last decade, Bibby Offshore has grown considerably and we have successfully created jobs for over 1,300 people, within the UK and internationally. Our business needs good people, and by introducing  these young people to the industry we hope to make  sure that, from a young age, they are aware of the abundance of opportunities there are available within it..”


The training and development schemes Bibby Offshore has introduced have helped to provide a high quality pool of workers who are encouraged to meet their potential and help give Bibby Offshore the skills boost it needs. Bibby Offshore currently has more than 1,300 people working onshore and offshore worldwide, with offices in Aberdeen, Liverpool, Singapore and Trinidad. It recently added two new vessels to the fleet and continues to expand its subsea construction, engineering and project delivery services.


Wood Group Kenny Wins FLNG Subsea Project

WoodGrpKennylogoWood Group Kenny (WGK) has been awarded a multi-million dollar engineering contract for a major new project in Australia.

GDF SUEZ Bonaparte Pty Ltd (GDF SUEZ), a subsidiary of French energy giant GDF SUEZ S.A., operator of Bonaparte LNG project has awarded WGK a contract for a (pre-FEED) subsea concept definition study for the Bonaparte LNG project.

This is GDF SUEZ’s first LNG project in Australia, which will give the company a further foothold in the gas markets of the Asia Pacific region. The Bonaparte LNG project is made up of the Petrel, Frigate and Tern fields, located in the Timor Sea, which were previously stranded gas fields, but recent technology advances and innovation mean these fields are now more economically viable to develop.

The key to unlocking this gas is floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG). This technology represents a new emerging market for the oil and gas industry, with the Asia Pacific region in the driving seat for the production.

Currently, there are no operational FLNG facilities in the world. However, in recent years a number of FLNG projects have been proposed and are now under development in Australia.

WGK is at the forefront of Australia’s latest subsea and pipeline projects and has been the engineering partner of choice for world-class developments such as Prelude, Equus, Pluto, Browse, Ichthys, Gorgon, Julimar, and Macedon projects, all of which are located on the Australian North West Shelf (NWS) and in the Timor Sea.

The Bonaparte LNG project represents a strategically important contract award for WGK as they are a new client developing their first FLNG project in Australian waters. The subsea concept definition study will be executed by WGK’s Australian team located in Perth, Western Australia.

Phil Brown, Australian Regional Director of Wood Group Kenny, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this important contract to support GDF SUEZ’s  operations in Australia, which recognises our expertise in subsea engineering, and in particular, FLNG emerging technology.

"This is a new client for us and we hope to establish a long and successful business relationship with them. WGK has been based in Perth for nearly 30 years and in that time we have developed a very strong, local presence."


Diamond Offshore Announces New Submersible Rig Order and Three-Year Drilling Contract

diamondoffshoreDiamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE: DO) announced on Wednesday,  an agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. to build a new Moss CS60E design harsh environment semisubmersible drilling rig. The 10,000’ dynamically positioned rig is expected to be delivered after November 2015. Projected capital cost of the unit including spares, commissioning and shipyard supervision is approximately $755 million.

The Company also announced that a three-year drilling contract has been entered into with a subsidiary of BP plc (NYSE: BP) to utilize the rig for initial operations off the coast of South Australia. The initial operating dayrate under the drilling contract is $585,000 per day and is subject to upward adjustment for certain increased operating costs and equipment modifications.

“We are pleased to have been selected by BP for this important work,” commented Larry Dickerson, Diamond Offshore’s CEO. “Our Company, and its predecessors, have been continuously active in Australia since 1982, drilling over 600 wells; far more than any other drilling contractor. We believe that this market-leading experience should enable Diamond Offshore to play a key role in our customer’s exploration efforts and we look forward to this opportunity.”


Apache Pledges $500,000 to Build Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms for Oklahoma Schools

apache_logoFollowing the devastation caused by recent deadly tornadoes in Moore, Okla., Apache Corp. announced it has pledged $500,000 toward providing storm shelters and safe rooms for Oklahoma schools.

The funds will go toward seeding a new 501(c)(3) organization created by Oklahoma State Reps. Jon Echols and Mark McBride to build storm shelters and safe rooms in existing Oklahoma schools.

"Our hearts go out to those who have suffered due to this horrific storm," said Rob Johnston, Apache Central Region vice president. "While the stories of bravery that have emerged in the days since the storm have been uplifting and even inspirational, the stories about the children of Moore who perished have been among the most difficult to comprehend. We hope this pledge of $500,000 will not only help to provide safety for children of Moore but also lend some comfort to families when they send their children off to school."

Moore was devastated by a deadly tornado on Monday that killed at least 24 and sent hundreds to the hospital. Among those killed were 10 children, eight of whom were elementary school students.

Oklahoma has been home to Apache employees since the company's first well was drilled there more than 50 years ago. Apache, which bases its Central Region operations in Tulsa, has 369 employees throughout Oklahoma. Many Apache employees have close ties to family, friends and schools in the Moore area.

"Apache has had a long history in Oklahoma and is a big part of many communities here," said Rep. Echols, R-Oklahoma City. "Their pledge will go a long way in helping keep our children safe."

"We will be mourning the loss of the elementary school children for some time," said Rep. McBride, R-Moore. "With the help of Apache and others we can provide our schools with shelters that can withstand these powerful and dangerous storms."


Biden Visits Petrobras Research Center

petrobras-logoOn May 29th, at the Petrobras Research Center (Cenpes), the company's CEO, Maria das Graças Silva Foster, welcomed the US vice-president, Joe Biden, along with the US ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, and the US consul general in Rio de Janeiro, John Creamer. The group held a 30-minute closed meeting, which was also attended by Cenpes executive manager Marcos Assayag, advisor to the CEO André Garcez Ghirardi and Brazilian Foreign Affairs Ministry (Itamaraty) representative William Santos.

Following the meeting, the group toured the verification and WAG (Water Alternating Gas) injection laboratories. At the verification lab they were presented with samples of sediments collected during exploratory drilling in Brazil's offshore basins.

The laboratory uses these samples to analyze and measure the porosity, permeability and fluid saturation level of the sediment. The WAG injection laboratory focuses mainly on natural gas or carbon dioxide (CO2) injection as a means of augmenting oil field production, while avoiding emission of these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Cenpes - The US vice-president was visibly impressed by the installations at Cenpes and its research projects, and he directed a lot of questions at the managers responsible for the labs: José Roberto Fagundes Netto and Rafael Vieira (WAG) and Edson Jose Milani (verification).

Established in 1963, the Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello Research and Development Center (Cenpes) is one of the largest R&D centers in the world for applied research for the energy sector. Situated on the Ilha do Fundão, in Rio de Janeiro, it occupies an area of more than 300,000 m2 and is equipped with various laboratories working hard to meet the technological needs of Petrobras. Every year, the company invests US$ 1.1 billion in Research and Development.


Expro Celebrates its 40th Anniversary Year with Strong Financial Results For 2013


Headline revenue increased by 18.5% to $1.2bn (2012: $1.01bn)

Headline EBITDA* up 44.7% to $290.8m (2012: $201.0m)

Operating free cash flow of $123.2m (2012: outflow of $44.0m)

Sale of non-core Connectors and Measurements (C&M) business generated net proceeds after transaction costs of $591.5m

Net proceeds of C&M used to repay senior debt of $408.5m, with the balance earmarked for investment in the business

Restructuring of $4.1bn of shareholder loans eliminating reserves deficit

Pro forma leverage fell from 7.9x to 6.2x in the year

Liquidity improved from $173.4m to $201.0m

Photo: Connecting lubricator valve to BOP (blow out preventer)



Operating and financial review

International oilfield services company, Expro, has announced strong annual results for the year ending March 2013, which highlights an increase in revenue of 18.5% to $1.2bn on the previous year, or 20.6% on a constant currency basis.

These results were driven by a growth in activity across the company’s eight business units, combined with a shift in the business mix towards higher value subsea safety systems and production systems. This delivered a higher operating margin of 24.2% and Headline EBITDA growth of 44.7%, to $290.8m.

Strong performance continued in Expro’s largest business unit, Europe CIS, with revenue growing by 13.6% This was driven by increased well testing business in the UK and subsea and drill stem testing activity in Norway.

 Sub-Saharan Africa revenue closed 15.4% higher than the previous year, which was bolstered by enhanced subsea activity in Angola and well testing demand across the region.

Asia’s increased revenue was driven by the Australian market, as well as subsea activity in China, resulting in a very positive year, ending 29.5% higher than 2012.

Middle East North Africa finished 5.2% higher due to a strong performance in Saudi Arabia, particularly well testing.

In North American Land, revenue declined by 7.2% as a result of lower gas prices and reduced rig activity/numbers in gas basins.  However the North America Offshore business exhibited steady growth and finished the year with revenue up 16.7%. This was primarily driven by strong levels of well test, subsea and perforation activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

Latin America had an excellent year, with revenue growth of 52.9% thanks to buoyant wireline activity, combined with increased activity in well testing, fluids and subsea work in Brazil.

Expro PTI, the company’s production solutions business, also demonstrated extremely strong results and high growth, with an increase in revenue of 67.9% in comparison to the previous year.

Finally, Equipment Sales continued to deliver notable growth, improving revenue by 31.8% on the previous year.

Cashflow and balance sheet

The increase in Headline EBITDA, combined with effective management in Expro’s asset utilisation, capital expenditure and a focus on working capital, resulted in increased operating free cashflow of $123.2m (2012: outflow of $44.0m).

The sale of Expro’s non-core C&M business generated net proceeds (after transaction costs) of $591.5m, of which $408.5m was used to repay senior debt, with the remainder earmarked for investment in the business.  This de-leveraging resulted in lower cash interest costs of $198.9m from $212.5m, with a further reduction expected on the full year effect in the cost of financing in the year to 31 March 2014.

$4.1bn of shareholder loans were capitalised as equity, reducing the Group’s ongoing non-cash interest costs by $498.7m, resulting in a $482.8m equity position from a $3.24bn cumulative deficit at the end of last year. Net debt improved by $385.8m to close at $1.81bn.

These strong financial results mark Expro’s 40th anniversary in 2013, including the re-launch of the company’s six core areas of capability: exploration and appraisal testing, subsea safety systems, drilling and completion, flowback and clean-up, production and well integrity and intervention.  The company has continued to invest in its workforce over the past year, hiring over 1,000 people globally, developing a range of employee development and retention programmes to meet the business’ operational demands.

Commenting on Expro’s overall performance, CEO, Charles Woodburn, said:

“Expro has performed well during the year, delivering excellent growth across the business. We believe that our continued focus on efficient delivery in our core competencies of well testing and well intervention, together with our investment in subsea safety systems and production systems, competitively positions us within the market place.  This has enabled us to generate robust financial returns through effective investment of our resources.

“Our strong EBITDA performance, coupled with the bolstering of our balance sheet through the sale of our non-core Connectors and Measurements business, has enhanced Expro’s capital structure and ability to generate cash to reinvest into the core business.

As we look forward to the year ahead, Expro will continue to invest in improving its asset base, while expanding and developing our work force.

With a strong order book and continued commitment to safe and effective service delivery, we feel confident in delivering further growth in 2014.”

All comparative percentages in this section are in constant currency.

For complete details on Expro's financial results for 2013 click here


Houlder Expands Across the Atlantic with Office in Houston


Award winning offshore engineering business, Houlder has announced it is to open an office in Houston to service key Oil & Gas clients headquartered inthe USA. This move is the latest of a series of expansion steps and follows the delivery of an increasing number of offshore project engineering, marine design consultancy and equipment projects over recent years.  Current Offshore Projects & Engineering Director, Garry Kennie (pictured) will establish Houlder Americas Inc. to both service Houlder’s current clients source new business in country. A team of existing Houlder engineers and draughtsmen will travel to the region however the company also expect to recruit locally.


Commenting on the move Garry said “The new venture is the clearest indication yet Houlder has the capacity to operate globally - providing support to the world’s leading energy companies and offshore operators wherever and whenever they need it. 

Opening for business this August, the company has already identified prime offices in the heart of Houston’s Oil & Gas district.


Anadarko Announces Promotion of Jim Kleckner

AnadarkoAnadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) has announced James J. Kleckner, formerly Vice President, Operations (Rockies), has been promoted to Executive Vice President, International and Deepwater Operations, and will join the company's Executive Committee.

"Jim's promotion to Executive Vice President, International and Deepwater Operations, is a reflection of his global operational skills, as well as the tremendous success delivered by Anadarko's Rocky Mountain region, under his leadership," Anadarko Chairman, President and CEO Al Walker said. "Jim brings more than 30 years of experience to this position having served in exploration and production leadership positions in the North Sea, South America, China, the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. onshore. Most recently, Jim has played an instrumental role in the phenomenal growth of the Wattenberg field in Colorado and the Greater Natural Buttes area in Utah, two of Anadarko's largest U.S. onshore assets."

Kleckner joins Bob Daniels, Executive Vice President, International and Deepwater Exploration; Bob Gwin, Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer; Chuck Meloy, Executive Vice President, U.S. Onshore Exploration and Production; and Bobby Reeves, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, on Anadarko's Executive Committee, reporting to Walker.

"We look forward to having Jim join the Executive Committee as he is a talented and seasoned energy professional, with an outstanding track record of success. I fully expect Jim and Bob Daniels to continue the industry-leading success Anadarko has enjoyed with deepwater exploration and development activities, and they will be outstanding partners for successfully advancing our various global projects," said Walker.

Kleckner began his career in the oil and natural gas industry in 1981 with Sun Oil Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute.


New NOAA Report Examines National Oil Pollution Threat from Shipwrecks

NOAA has presented to the U.S. Coast Guard a new report that finds that 36 sunken vessels scattered across the U.S. seafloor could pose an oil pollution threat to the nation’s coastal marine resources. Of those, 17 were recommended for further assessment and potential removal of both fuel oil and oil cargo.


The locations of the 17 wrecks NOAA is recommending be considered for in water assessment and pollution recovery if necessary.

The sunken vessels are a legacy of more than a century of U.S. commerce and warfare. They include a barge lost in rough seas in 1936; two motor-powered ships that sank in separate collisions in 1947 and 1952; and a tanker that exploded and sank in 1984. The remaining sites are 13 merchant marine ships lost during World War II, primarily along the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico. To see a list of the ships and their locations, visit: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/protect/ppw/.

The report, part of NOAA’s Remediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET) project, identifies the location and nature of potential sources of oil pollution from sunken vessels. Knowing where these vessels are helps oil response planning efforts and may help in the investigation of reported mystery spills--sightings of oil where a source is not immediately known or suspected.

“This report is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the potential oil pollution threats from shipwrecks in U.S. waters,” said Lisa Symons, resource protection coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “Now that we have analyzed this data, the Coast Guard will be able to evaluate NOAA’s recommendations and determine the most appropriate response to potential threats.”

“The Coast Guard is pleased to receive these risk assessments from our partner agency NOAA and looks forward to our continued coordination on the matter of potential pollution associated with sunken vessels in U.S. waters,” said Capt. John Caplis, the Coast Guard’s chief of marine environmental response. “Coast Guard federal on-scene coordinators receiving the risk assessments will carefully review the data and incorporate it into their area contingency plans.”

In 2010, Congress appropriated $1 million for NOAA to develop a list of the most significant potentially polluting wrecks in U.S. waters, including the Great Lakes, specifically addressing ecological and socio-economic resources at risk. Those funds were not intended for oil or vessel removal.

NOAA maintains the internal Resources and UnderSea Threats (RUST) database of approximately 30,000 sites of sunken material, of which 20,000 are shipwrecks. The remaining items are munitions dumpsites, navigational obstructions, underwater archaeological sites, and other underwater resources.

Initial screening of these shipwrecks revealed 573 that could pose substantial pollution risks, based on the vessel’s age, type, and size. This includes vessels built after 1891, when U.S. vessels began using fuel oil; vessels built of steel; vessels over 1,000 gross tons, and any tank vessel.

Additional research about the circumstances of each vessel’s loss narrowed that number to 107 shipwrecks. Of those, some were deemed navigational hazards and demolished, and others were salvaged. Most of the 107 wrecks have not been directly surveyed for pollution potential, and in some cases little is known about their current condition.

To prioritize and determine which vessels are candidates for further evaluation, NOAA used a series of risk factors to assess the likelihood of substantial amounts of oil remaining onboard, and the potential ecological and environmental effects if that oil spills. Risk factors include the total oil volume onboard as cargo or fuel, the type of oil, and the nature of the sinking event. For example, a vessel that was struck by multiple torpedoes would likely contain less oil than a vessel that sank in bad weather.

After this third level of screening, 87 wrecks remained on the list developed for the Coast Guard’s area contingency plans. Among this group, NOAA determined that 36 shipwrecks are candidates for a “Worst Case” discharge event in which the shipwreck’s entire fuel oil and oil cargo would be released simultaneously, and recommended that 17 of these wrecks be considered for further assessment and feasibility of oil removal.

Six wrecks are potential candidates for a “Most Probable” discharge event, where a shipwreck could lose approximately 10 percent of its fuel oil or oil cargo. To date, known oil discharges from shipwrecks are typically in the “Most Probable” category or smaller.

The report, including 87 risk assessments, is not intended to direct Coast Guard activities, but rather provide the Coast Guard with NOAA’s scientific and technical assessment and guidance as a natural resource and cultural heritage trustee.

The Coast Guard, as the federal On-scene Coordinator for mitigating oil spills in the coastal marine environment, the Regional Response Teams, and local Area Committees, as established under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, will review and incorporate the assessments into regional and area marine environmental response contingency plans. The individual risk assessments not only highlight concerns about potential ecological and socio-economic impacts, but also characterize most of the vessels as historically significant and many of them as grave sites, both civilian and military.

Funding for any assessment or recovery operations determined to be necessary is dependent upon the unique circumstances of the wreck. If a wreck still has an identifiable owner, that owner is responsible for the cost of cleanup. Coast Guard officials say that if no responsible party exists, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund would likely be accessed.

To view the report, 2012 Risk Assessment for Potentially Polluting Wrecks in U.S. Waters, visit http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/protect/ppw/.

As America’s maritime first responder, the Coast Guard protects those on the sea, protects our nation from threats delivered by sea, and protects the sea itself. By executing our marine environmental protection responsibilities, the Coast Guard reduces the risk of harm to the marine environment by developing and enforcing regulations to prevent and respond to maritime oil spills and hazardous substance releases.


Danos Announces New Louisiana Headquarters and Manufacturing Expansion

danos2_newspicGov. Bobby Jindal and Danos President and CEO Hank Danos announced the company will retain its headquarters in Louisiana and that Danos & Curole Marine Contractors LLC has selected a site in Gray, La., for its new $10 million corporate headquarters facility. In addition, Danos announced it is evaluating multiple Louisiana port locations to select where it will build a new $20 million manufacturing and fabrication facility.

A strategic construction and services partner for major oil and gas companies, Danos will create 426 new jobs over the next five years as it leverages new deepwater oil and gas opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico, along with land-based and international energy growth opportunities. LED estimates the Louisiana projects, with their combined $30 million capital investment, will result in an additional 871 new indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 1,300 new jobs in the state. Of the 426 new direct jobs, 326 will be at the headquarters site with salaries averaging $75,000 per year, plus benefits. The remaining 100 new direct jobs will be created at the manufacturing site with salaries averaging $65,000 per year, plus benefits.

The company's expansion project will also retain 400 existing land-based jobs in Louisiana and create 200 construction jobs. Danos will retain fabrication operations at its current headquarters site in Larose, where the company has operated since its 1947 founding in Lafourche Parish.

Gov. Jindal said, "Today's announcement is great news for the Bayou Region and for our entire state. Danos is one of Louisiana's deeply rooted homegrown companies renowned for its technical expertise, performance and, above all, outstanding safety in the oil and gas business. The company has proudly called Louisiana home for decades, and it knows that our state is home to an incomparable workforce, a strong business climate and a tremendous energy infrastructure.

"Despite a challenging federal regulatory environment, Louisiana companies like Danos are rising to new heights in business performance and leading the way in solving our nation's energy challenges. This growth by Danos in south Louisiana will continue bringing great new career opportunities to Louisianians for generations to come."

Danos ultimately selected a Terrebonne Parish site for its new headquarters after an exhaustive search of potential locations along the Gulf Coast. Extensive site selection by Danos eliminated Alabama, Mississippi and Texas from consideration.

Construction of the headquarters facility will begin by late summer, with the manufacturing site to be selected within three months and construction of that facility to begin before the end of 2013. Both new facilities will be complete by the end of 2014. Hiring for positions at the new headquarters will begin later this year, with new manufacturing positions being filled beginning in 2014.

With 1,100 employees based in Louisiana or working in offshore Gulf of Mexico operations linked with the company's Louisiana base, Danos is one of the major economic drivers in Louisiana's Bayou Region and a key contributor to global energy solutions, with 1,600 employees worldwide.

Launching a modest crew boat company 66 years ago, Danos attracted Gulf Oil (now Chevron) in its first year of existence and still retains the company as a customer today. Danos has evolved into one of the largest oilfield service companies in the Gulf of Mexico region with a continual focus on safety and execution. The company works with all major energy producers in the Gulf today, aligning its services with operators from the pre-commissioning phase of major developments through the construction and operation phases.

"The Danos family business has deep roots in South Louisiana: The heritage and culture of this area are important to who we are as a company," company CEO Hank Danos said. "We appreciate the commitment of our state's leadership. The Governor and the Secretary of Economic Development are shaping an environment that is beneficial to attracting and retaining companies who are creating good jobs in our state and region. We are thankful that our employees, customers and the state recognize the importance of our dedication to excellence in safety and job execution."

LED's Business Expansion and Retention Group, or BERG, worked with Danos to identify growth opportunities within Louisiana. To secure the headquarters and manufacturing project, the state offered Danos a customized incentives package that includes a performance-based, $1.5 million Economic Development Award Program grant to provide infrastructure improvements for the new manufacturing location. The state will also provide the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart ®, the nation's No. 1 state workforce development training program. In addition, Danos is expected to utilize Louisiana's Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

"We are honored that Danos has chosen Terrebonne Parish for their new facility," Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet said. "Terrebonne Parish is truly fortunate to receive this vote of confidence by one of the most respected and admired companies in Louisiana. We welcome Danos to Terrebonne Parish as we continue to build a community that is attractive to such great companies."

"The Danos family, now in its third generation of service to our community and region, has not only survived both the natural and manmade challenges of the world, it has been doggedly defiant in its resiliency to prosper and grow," said President and CEO Vic Lafont of the South Louisiana Economic Council.

"We're very excited anytime a major announcement comes to our region," said Steve Vassallo, CEO of the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority. "It's just a further indication of how our economy is improving dramatically and continues to stay strong. Creating new jobs just makes it that much easier when we're recruiting the next company that we're going after."


Noble Energy Announces Karish Discovery in the Levant Basin Offshore Israel

Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announces  a natural gas discovery at the Karish prospect offshore Israel.  The discovery well was drilled to a total depth of 15,783 feet and encountered 184 feet of net natural gas pay in high-quality lower Miocene sands.  The Karish well, located in the Alon C license approximately 20 miles northeast of the Tamar field, is in 5,700 feet of water.  Discovered gross resources, combined with the de-risked resources in an adjacent fault block on the license, are estimated to range(1) between 1.6 and 2.0 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) with a gross mean of 1.8 Tcf.


The Karish discovery is the fifth discovered field with an estimated gross mean resource size over 1 Tcf.  It is also the seventh consecutive field discovery for Noble Energy and its partners in the Levant Basin.  With the addition of Karish and the recent increase in resource estimates at Tamar and Leviathan, total discovered gross mean resources in the Levant Basin are now estimated to be approximately 38 Tcf.

The Ensco 5006 rig drilled the Karish well and will relocate to Cyprus where it is scheduled to spud an appraisal well at the Cyprus A discovery next month.

Noble Energy is the operator of the Alon C license with a 47.06 percent interest. Co-owners are Avner Oil and Delek Drilling each with a 26.47 percent interest.


Wood Group PSN first with Hess in Gulf of Mexico

woodgroup-psnWood Group PSN (WGPSN) will deliver operations & maintenance services to Hess Corporation's Baldpate production platform in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, under a new five-year contract.

WGPSN will also provide these services to Hess for the Tubular Bells and Stampede deepwater facilities in the Mississippi Canyon and Green Canyon regions of the Gulf of Mexico when they come on stream in the future. The contract will lead to the creation of up to 100 new jobs in the region.

WGPSN will develop a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to track the maintenance and repair of rotating equipment and maintenance parts. They will also manage the inventory of engineering parts.

Derek Blackwood , WGPSN Americas president, said: "Hess is a valued customer to WGPSN. Since 1999, we have maintained contracts with Hess in the U.K. and in Equatorial Guinea, and we are pleased to have extended this relationship to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We will recruit new employees to service this contract and are committed to developing a skilled and talented local workforce."

WGPSN employs over 5,000 people in the US, working both offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore servicing the conventional oil & gas sector and shale plays.

Baldpate is located in 1,650ft of water, in Garden Banks (GB) block 260, 120 miles off the Louisiana coast. Installed in 1998, it was the first freestanding offshore compliant tower and is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the world.


UTEC Geomarine Completes First North American geoROV™ Survey

UteclogoUTEC Geomarine has announced the successful completion of its first ever geoROVTM CPT survey campaign in North America.

The geotechnical survey in the Gulf of Mexico was in support of a major pipeline construction project and work comprised of situ testing, interpretation and production of the final reports.

The technology was perfectly suited to geotechnical survey operations in the Gulf of Mexico, where challenging and variable seabed conditions required precise geotechnical data for pipeline design purposes.

The geoROVTM system is the innovative ROV-conveyed geotechnical testing and sampling system developed in-house by UTEC Geomarine to address industry requirements.  It is a quick and cost-effective way of gathering high precision geotechnical data which has an established track record in the North Sea and Asia-Pacific regions.

Following the acquisition of UK headquartered Geomarine by UTEC in 2012, UTEC Geomarine now provides a range of advanced geotechnical services from UTEC’s international office network.

Commenting on the project, UTEC Geomarine’s Dr. Peter Allan said: “A key factor in the selection of geoROV™ for this project was the ability to work close in to existing infrastructure and to very precisely investigate the geotechnical properties of features on the seabed.”

UTEC CEO Martin O’Carroll added: “Following our successful entry into the North American market we are actively pursuing additional opportunities for the technology.”

UTEC is one of the world’s largest independent offshore survey companies providing a wide range of services including offshore positioning, construction support, geophysical (conventional, towed and AUV) surveys, measurement technology (dimensional control including laser scanning and modeling), metocean surveys and geotechnical (consultancy & sampling) services.  UTEC has offices located around the world including: Australia, Brasil, Canada, Italy, Singapore, UAE, UK and USA.


Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) and Total Seal a Strategic Partnership in Congo

QatarPetrologoQatar Petroleum International (QPI) and Total are pleased to announce the signing of aTotallogo framework of Agreement whereby QPI will participate in Total E&P Congo through its subscription to a 15% share capital increase of this company. This participation reinforces Qatar’s commitment to invest in Africa and illustrates Congo’s willingness to welcome Qatar as a new partner. Furthermore, thanks to its subscription to the capital of Total E&P Congo, QPI will contribute to the company’s significant investment programmed in Congo, specifically the Moho North project.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman of QPI, stated that this agreement is a further milestone in the implementation of QPI’s strategy to develop actively its presence abroad and especially in Africa.  He also welcomed the opportunity to reinforce relationships between Qatar and Congo and support Total E&P Congo in its development programmed.

Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of Total, expressed his satisfaction with this agreement which is a new step in the implementation of the MOU for a strategic cooperation in Africa entered between QPI and Total on 25 March 2010. It will further build-on the well-established partnership with QPI and will strengthen Total’s commitment to proceed with the development of the Congolese Petroleum Industry.

H.E. Jean-Jacques Bouya, Minister to the Presidency in charge of development and infrastructures of the Republic of Congo, attending the Doha 13th Forum and mandated by 
H.E. Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, expressed his satisfaction with QPI’s partnering with Total in the Republic of Congo which will bring added value to the development of Congo’s petroleum resources. This new partnership is a clear milestone that will open a new era of cooperation between the Republic of Congo and the state of Qatar.