Offshore News

Friday, May 05, 2000
Bender and Torch Sign Contract

A contract for the construction of a deepwater construction vessel was signed by Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Inc., and Torch, Inc.

The Guido Perla & Associates-designed 340 x 85 x 31 ft. M/V Midnight Warrior is a current generation construction vessel, equipped to provide offshore flowline installation, offshore umbilical installation and subsea construction and is capable of worldwide operations.

Midnight Warrior is to be ABS-classed, Maltese Cross A1, Maltese Cross AMS, DP-2 Circle E for unlimited international service. The 15,000 hp vessel will be diesel electric, SCR, with three 3,000 hp azimuthing thrusters on the stern and two 2,000 hp tunnel thrusters in the bow.

Proposed Notice of Sale Issued for Western Gulf of Mexico OCS Sale 177

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) is making available the Proposed Notice of Sale for Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Sale 177. The sale is scheduled for August 23, 2000, in New Orleans.

Sale 177 encompasses 3,779 unleased blocks, about 20.6 million acres in the Western GOM Outer Continental Shelf Planning Area offshore Texas and in deeper waters offshore Louisiana. The blocks are located from nine to 200 miles offshore in water depths ranging from 26 ft. to more than 9,842 ft. There are 2,152 blocks in water depths of 656.2 ft. or more.

This is the fifth sale in the Western Gulf of Mexico and the eighth sale overall in which blocks receiving bids in water depths of 656.2 ft. or more are eligible for consideration under provisions of the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act.

The Proposed Notice of Sale offers all blocks in water depths of less than 2,624.6 ft. for a minimum bid of $25 per acre. The minimum bid on blocks in water depths of 2,624.6 ft. or deeper is $37.50 per acre.

BP Amoco and ARCO Get FTC Go-Ahead To Combine

BP Amoco and Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) announced they have received clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the combination of their companies. The union, originally agreed a year ago, will create a combined group with a market capitalization of some $200 billion.

BP Amoco chief executive Sir John Browne said: "We are pleased to have received FTC approval. We will now close the deal and rapidly implement the plans we have in place to integrate our operations worldwide. We intend to move quickly to deliver the significant value of this union to the shareholders of the new group."

Coflexip Stena Offshore Continues Fleet Modernization

Coflexip Stena Offshore announced it has sold its vessel, CSO Installer, to Global Marine Systems, Ltd. The vessel is planned to be used for telecommunication cable laying by its new owner.

The vessel was sold by the CSO group as part of its fleet modernization program. The fleet, which currently consists of 15 construction and installation vessels, is among the most advanced in the industry.

The modernization strategy has led the CSO group to launch the construction, for $170 million, of CSO Deep Blue, whch will operate beginning in 2001 at record depths of 8,202 ft., for flexible and rigid pipelay. CSO is also planning to upgrade CSO Constructor for deepwater heavy construction.

McMoRan and Halliburton Form Alliance

McMoRan Exploration Co. and Halliburton Company have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to conduct operations for McMoRan's recently announced major new oil and gas exploration and development program in the Gulf of Mexico. As previously announced, McMoRan has acquired from Texaco Exploration and Production the right to explore 89 oil and gas tracts and McMoRan purchased Shell Offshore Inc.'s, interest in 56 exploratory leases, all in the Gulf of Mexico. These two transactions, together with its current lease inventory, provide McMoRan exploratory rights to 160 blocks covering approximately 750,000 gross acres and the foundation for an aggressive exploration and development program.

McMoRan and Halliburton will develop an organizational structure to include the skills, technologies and resources of both companies' personnel and technical consultants. Halliburton Energy Services, Brown and Root Energy Services, and Landmark Graphics Corporation, all business units of Halliburton Company, will offer integrated products and services to the alliance to the extent practicable, on an exclusive basis. This integrated team will carry out McMoRan's oil and gas activities.

Chase Securities Inc. assisted McMoRan in forming this alliance, and will arrange a $50 million bank facility for McMoRan's use in funding the exploration program. Additionally, Halliburton will have the opportunity to participate in McMoRan's development opportunities in this program by providing a portion of the development financing. The alliance agreement, which is subject to certain conditions, extends through June 30, 2003.

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