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KCA Deutag considering buying new offshore vessels

Brian Taylor: opportunity
Brian Taylor: opportunity

Drilling contractor KCA Deutag said yesterday it was considering buying new offshore vessels after taking a step forward in its plans to grow in south-east Asia.

KCA Deutag has bought Singapore-based Global Tender Barges (GTB) in a multimillion-pound deal which includes three self-erect tender barges the Aberdeen-based firm has operated for three years.

The deal adds about £70million to KCA Deutag’s annual revenue and doubles its mobile offshore drilling fleet, currently standing at three jack-up rigs.

Chief operating officer Brian Taylor said it also opened the way to further growth in the region and with strong demand for tenders and jack-ups in other regions – including west Africa and Mexico – there was a strong case for investing in further vessels. He added: “Given the way the markets are going and opportunities we see in those areas, we will be having very serious discussions with shareholders regarding opportunities for new builds.

“We see an opportunity for at least one new-built tender barge in the near term. We also see an increasing need for semi-submersible drilling tenders, even in the North Sea.”

The Aberdeen group had already owned 10% of GTB but has bought the remaining 90% from investment firm Pamplona Capital Management: the majority shareholder in KCA Deutag.

KCA Deutag chief executive Holger Temmen said the three barges had an excellent order backlog, adding that the firm also wanted to grow its presence substantially in the region, both in the offshore, land-drilling and engineering sectors.

GTB was founded in 2007 and bought its three shallow-water barges, the Global Emerald, Global Jade and Global Sapphir, from Pride International in 2008, when KCA Deutag acquired its 10% stake. Pamplona bought its 90% stake in 2009.

Pamplona was involved in a major cash injection into KCA Deutag earlier this year, aimed at helping the firm to break into new markets, including Brazil, and increase its presence in south-east Asia.

It had been outright owner of KCA Deutag until then but gave up some of its stake to the new lenders. KCA Deutag has 63 land rigs worldwide and employs 8,000 people across 22 countries.

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