Petrofac lands $250m North Sea ‘duty holder’ contract

AOC chief executive Phil Oldham, left, with Petrofac's Walter Thain. Picture: Contributed
AOC chief executive Phil Oldham, left, with Petrofac's Walter Thain. Picture: Contributed
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Oil and gas services contractor Petrofac has won a $250 million (£175m) contract to operate a range of assets in the North Sea.

The five-year “duty holder” deal with Anasuria Operating Company (AOC) will secure 65 jobs, Petrofac said.

Under the contract, the firm will assume full responsibility on behalf of AOC for the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) operations at the Anasuria cluster, which lies about 108 miles east of Aberdeen, as well as monitoring and managing pipelines and wells.

AOC is a joint venture between Hibiscus Petroleum and fellow Malaysian firm Ping Petroleum. It owns the Anasuria FPSO, Guillemot A, Teal and Teal South fields and has a 38.65 per cent interest in the Cook field.

Petrofac said the contract will see responsibilities for operating installations, pipelines and wells being combined for the first time within its service operator model, evolving the outsourced duty holder service it pioneered in 1997.

Walter Thain, managing director for the group’s western engineering and production services, said: “We are delighted to have completed a successful and safe transition of operations for Anasuria and to continue to support AOC and help them to make a difference as they take up their first UK Continental Shelf operatorship.

“AOC’s acquisition of the Anasuria cluster is really an investment in the future of the North Sea and it is a positive development for our industry during these challenging times. We aim to support AOC as they work to realise their vision for Anasuria to increase production and extend the life of field. We will apply our duty holder expertise in the safe delivery of an innovative operating model, designed to eliminate waste and maximise efficiency.”

Petrofac last month revealed that its annual profits had been hit by losses stemming from work on a delayed gas plant on Shetland.

The firm delivered a net profit of $440m (£308m) before costs linked to the Laggan-Tormore project, which it had been due to complete for French energy major Total in July of last year. However, once the Laggan-Tormore losses were taken into account, net profits for 2015 dropped to $9m, down from $581m the previous year.

READ MORE: Petrofac profits wiped out by Shetland gas plant

Mark Paton, vice-president of new ventures and production at Hibiscus, said: “Today’s milestone is the culmination of two years’ of collective effort and we are proud of the work that has been undertaken by everyone concerned to attain a safe transfer of operations.

“We are new entrants to the North Sea but we have experienced people and we aim to bring a fresh perspective along with our investment, to improve asset returns and extend the field life of Anasuria for the benefit of all stakeholders and employees.”

AOC chief executive Phil Oldham added: “The combination of all our experienced teams will enable us to leverage our respective capabilities to overcome the challenges associated with mature assets while adhering to North Sea operating standards.

“By working collaboratively, we will capture the additional potential from the cluster and extend the value from the existing infrastructure. We are fully committed to achieving safe and efficient operations.”

The AOC joint venture acquired the Anasuria cluster from Shell UK, Shell EP Offshore Ventures and Esso Exploration & Production UK.