Slinking into future, Sevan airs StatoilHydro study

Photo: Sevan Drilling AS

Photo: Sevan Drilling AS

Norway-based “round-rig” maker Sevan Marine has aired word of a study agreement with StatoilHydro and similar undertakings with oil companies Chevron, Total and Petrobras centred on a “Goliat-type” lease agreement for a floating production unit.

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The company, which had taken on great financial risk to embark on round rig-building, found a new finance model at the Goliat oilfield in arctic Norway earlier this year, when oil company Eni agreed to lease it floating production storage and offloading vessel, the Goliat FPSO. That model now appears to be its bridge to a brighter future.

“We think that Petrobras might be interested in a unit similar to (Goliat) in size and based on the license model,” Sevan chief exec Jan Erik Tveteraas told analysts in Oslo Wednesday.

He said the company also had a written deal with Petrobras on buying a “round drill rig”, if only the Petrobras board would stamp it into an asset-buy. “(Oil company talks) give us some good prospects that we intend to utilise once we have resolved the short- term challenges,” said the harried CEO.

Despite having “four or five concrete possiblities” for securing orders with potential clients for Sevan 300 No. 4 and No. 5, the goal was “one for this year”. Quarterly net loss, after all, was wider by $3.3 million to $36.9 million.

With an asset sale the first priority for the cash-tight business, at least one floating producer is under the scrutiny of “a careful buyer”.

At the Shelley field in the U.K. North Sea, where the bankruptcy of Oilexco makes Premier Oil the new customer, the Sevan Voyageur is moored and incurring millions in commissioning costs ahead of real earnings in “third-quarter” 2009.

Short of an asset sale, Voyageur’s income and a doubling of Sevan revenue year-on-year to $46 million are the day-to-day “buffer” the company will ride until earnings expand.

“The market is not totally dead. There are opportunities,” said Teteraas. But the market found little cheer in the StatoilHydro study deal, and Sevan’s stock fell five percent by day’s end.

Read more about: Sevan Drilling AS and StatoilHydro on

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