Floatel International has secured contracts for its accommodation vessels to support three major projects in Norway as it reaches an agreement with lenders
State-run Equinor and independent operator Vår Energi have awarded contracts for accommodation semi-submersibles to house workers on three of the biggest projects in the North Sea region.
Equinor will require an accommodation semi-submersible to support two projects in 2022. It requires an accommodation vessel for 5-8 months, starting April 2022, to support hook-up and commissioning for its Johan Sverdrup Phase II project in the North Sea.
Equinor will also require a Floatel semi-submersible for 4-6 months to support its Breidablikk development, also from April 2022.
Vår Energi has contracted Floatel International to provide a semi-submersible accommodation unit for at least three months from June 2021 to support its Balder field life extension project in the North Sea, where Vår is investing in the Balder, Jotun and Ringhorne oil fields, including upgrades to two floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) ships.
Vår aims to extend production through these FPSOs until 2045 through a Nkr19.6Bn (US$2.26Bn) investment.
Floatel is yet to nominate which semi-submersible vessel to offer for these projects. It operates five vessels, built 2010-2016, of which three are in service and two in lay-up.
These contracts come after Floatel reached agreement with lenders to ensure Floatel Endurance remains in the fleet. On 9 January 2021, Floatel announced it had signed a collateral discharge agreement which fully discharges security over the bank’s vessel assets conditional upon securing and satisfying all conditions for raising finance to settle a payment of US$46M to lenders under the agreement.
Floatel anticipates completion of the collateral discharge agreement in February 2021 to ensure 2015-built Floatel Endurance remains in the fleet and cash in the blocked accounts and other assets is retained by the relevant group company.
The collateral discharge agreement should also ensure all claims of the lenders against the Floatel group including US$115M in principal, interest and fees are fully and unconditionally released.
Floatel Endurance is on long-term charter to Equinor supporting the Martin Linge field development in the North Sea with options stretching into Q3 2021. 2013-built Floatel Victory is contracted to support Ineos Unity in the UK from March to August 2021.
Floatel Superior (2010-built) is available in Norway, 2010-built Floatel Reliance is laid up in Tenerife, Spain and 2016-built Floatel Triumph is moored up in Singapore.
Last week, rival accommodation vessel owner Prosafe secured a contract for support unit Safe Concordia in Trinidad and Tobago, which will see this rig mobilised during the next few months to begin work in July 2021.
That comes as Prosafe continues discussions with its lenders concerning financial restructuring and tackling its growing debt mountain, while five of its accommodation vessels remain idle.
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