BHP Billiton Hands Offshore Support Contract to Mermaid

Mermaid Marine Australia disclosed Wednesday that it has won a contract, in excess of $52.5 million (AUD50 million), to provide offshore marine support to BHP Billiton Petroleum's floating operations off the North West (NW) Coast of Western Australia.

The contract, which runs for an initial period of five years with a two-year extension option, will eventually be serviced by a new offshore support vessel – the Mermaid Cove – that is under construction in Singapore.

In the short-term, the Mermaid Supporter would act as the lead-in vessel until the Cove is delivered this year.

Cove – designed to work in close quarters to tankers during the offtake operations of a floating production storage and offloading facility – is the first offshore support vessel operating off the NW Shelf that will be fitted with a daughter craft as well as a rescue craft.

These additions will enable the vessel to be used for search, rescue and emergency operations, as well as undertake oil dispersant and recovery operations.

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