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Akastor nets five-year Petrobras contract extension on first day following Aker split

29th September 2014

Aker Solutions has officially split into two trading entities today, Akastor and Aker Soloutions, as a subsidiary of Akastor nets a five-year contract extension with Petrobras in Brazil

Akastor nets five-year Petrobras contract extension on first following Aker split
The Skandi Santos and the installed remotely operated vehicles are owned by DOF Subsea and leased to AKOFS Offshore, who owns and operates the vessel's topside and subsea equipment

AKOFS Offshore, a part of Akastor ASA, has been notified of a five-year contract extension from Petrobras to use the Skandi Santos, a Subsea Equipment Support Vessel in Brazil.

The extension, worth about USD 387m, will start March 1, 2015 in direct continuation of current contract. The vessel is currently operating under a five-year contract with Petrobras that began March 1, 2010.

The Skandi Santos is designed to install and retrieve subsea trees and modules, including subsea structures and manifolds at water depths of up to 2,300 metres. The vessel will during the contract extension period continue with its current scope of work and also start installing Petrobras' new generation of subsea trees offshore Brazil.

The Skandi Santos and the installed remotely operated vehicles are owned by DOF Subsea and leased to AKOFS Offshore, who owns and operates the vessel's topside and subsea equipment.

The former Aker Solutions has been split into two separate entities to reduce complexity, realise synergies and bring down costs. A reregistered Aker Solutions has remained in control of the subsea, umbilicals, engineering and maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) businesses of the former entity.

The other company formed in the separation is Akastor, an oilfield services investment business that will develop the former group's other units, including drilling technologies.

"The split creates a simpler and more focused Aker Solutions that is better positioned to meet the needs of customers in an increasingly competitive global energy industry," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer of Aker Solutions. "We will build on our leading positions in subsea and field design through a commitment to operational excellence, organic growth and capital discipline that will boost shareholder value."

Aker Solutions is now more streamlined to focus on deepwater and subsea oil-services, some of the fastest growing markets in the global oil and gas industry. Its business areas also have operational, commercial and strategic similarities, allowing for a swifter realization of synergies as the subsea and field design areas share the same customers and main markets. The company's strategy will be simpler and focused on value creation through technological development, organic growth and operational excellence. Aker Solutions will be uniquely positioned to design, build and maintain the future subsea production factory. It will build on its expertise within project execution and offshore field design.

The company is well positioned to capture growth, both in subsea and field design. It is present in all major offshore oil and gas markets including Norway, the U.K., Brazil and West Africa. It's also deeply involved in some of the world's biggest projects, such as the giant Kaombo subsea development in Angola and the huge Johan Sverdrup project in Norway. The company had a record order backlog of USD 8.36bn at the end of the second quarter.

"We are winning market share in subsea, particularly in Brazil and West Africa, and we are the leader in offshore engineering and maintenance and modifications services in the North Sea market," said Araujo. "This provides us with a robust growth outlook that's supported by a record backlog."

Aker Solutions is in the midst of adjusting its capacity to a slowdown in the MMO market in Norway. The company is doing its utmost to avoid redundancies by moving people to other business areas, including a subsea hub being established in Stavanger. Other employees have been offered a transfer to a manning agency that actively seeks to find them new positions.

"Capital discipline is the most crucial driver for oil exploration and production companies right now and we expect this to remain tight over the next one to two years after which we anticipate a new wave of projects," said Araujo. "There are many exciting projects being worked on, including Johan Sverdrup, and there is rising demand for our MMO services in other parts of the world, such as Canada and the UK, where we recently secured a maintenance and modifications services contract from Statoil for the Mariner oilfield development."



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