Shearwater GeoServices set to fly with high capacity Dolphin vessels
GC Rieber Shipping ASA has signed an agreement with RASMUSSENGRUPPEN AS to establish a new, jointly owned marine geophysical company called Shearwater GeoServices AS.
Shearwater GeoServices will become an integrated provider of marine geophysical services to oil and gas and multi-client companies worldwide. Starting out with a fleet of four modern, high capacity seismic vessels, previously operated by Dolphin Geopgysical, Shearwater’s core strategy will be to provide high quality marine geophysical services and utilise the company’s position as the most cost-efficient company in the industry.
GC Rieber Shipping and Rasmussengruppen will own the company 50/50. Shearwater will take over the four high-capacity seismic vessels; Polar Empress, Polar Duke, Polar Duchess, and Polar Marquis and the partners will also inject US$ 60 million in equity in the form of cash. Terms have been renegotiated with the lending banks for the four vessels. The new terms include a 75% reduction in instalments compared to the original repayment profile until June 2019 and an extension of the term of the loans until year end 2022. Shearwater has also agreed on the main terms to purchase the seismic equipment (including streamers) and the operative entity, Dolphin Geophysical UK Ltd., which includes the processing business from the former lending banks of Dolphin Geophysical ASA.
Shearwater will receive technical and crewing support from GC Rieber Shipping with regards to marine operations. Shearwater’s own organisation is being established, in part on former Dolphin Geophysical staff and in part on new hires. Former Dolphin Geophysical COO, Peter Hooper will be Chief Operating Officer of Shearwater and Bjarne Stavenes will take the position as Vice President Marine Acquisition.
“Over a period of time, we have examined opportunities to establish a new geophysical company, based on the four high-end vessels we currently own. In Rasmussengruppen, we have found a partner who shares our view of the opportunities offered by the geophysical market at present, and, equally important, who shares our vision to build and develop Shearwater into a leading player in the industry”, said Irene Waage Basili, CEO of GC Rieber Shipping.
Rasmussengruppen has extensive experience from investing in maritime industries and oil services over several decades. Dag Rasmussen, Group CEO, sees interesting opportunities for the new company, “Shearwater is set up from the start with a modern and cost-efficient fleet, an experienced organisation, and a solid financial platform. Supported by GC Rieber’s extensive industry experience, we believe Shearwater will have a unique position in the market that can also consider further strategic opportunities”, commented Dag Rasmussen.
The agreement between GC Rieber Shipping and Rasmussengruppen is conditional upon final loan documentation with the lending banks in line with agreed term sheets, as well as entering into final sales and purchase agreements for the seismic equipment. Closing of the transaction is expected to be in place during fourth quarter of 2016.