Fast-growing Middle East seismic survey company Polarcus has turned to Norway to build two more seismic survey vessels at a cost of $336million for the pair.
The Norwegian-designed X-bow vessels will be built by Ulstein Verft and are scheduled for delivery H1 2012.
“This new order for two further high-end 3D seismic vessels underscores our commitment to be the new seismic major,” said Rolf Ronningen, CEO at Polarcus.
“We have been able to take maximum advantage of the current availability of yard slots to execute shipbuilding contracts on highly-favourable payment terms and to secure beneficial delivery times of the new-builds.
“We have furthermore taken the strategic decision to build these vessels in Norway to avail ourselves of significant and advantageous financing from the Norwegian Institution for Export Financing, Eksportfinans.
“Both new-builds are of the same proven design as our existing Polarcus Asima and Polarcus Alima vessels.”
They will incorporate some additional advanced capabilities, including the ability to tow up to 14 streamers with 100-metre lateral separation, which Ronningen reckons will position the new sisters firmly in the most active 12 to 14 streamer market segment.
The additional new-builds will increase the company’s high-end 3D seismic fleet to seven vessels, with a corresponding projected increase in market share to about 13% after delivery in 2012.
The new-builds will be constructed to the Ulstein SX134 design but with a higher ice class (ICE 1A super), increased propulsion, and other innovative efficiency enhancing features.