Gulf Marine Produced 'Solid Performance' during 1Q 2015

Oilfield support vessel provider Gulf Marine Services said it is currently trading in line with expectations after the company produced a "solid performance" during the first quarter of 2015, with a high utilization of its self-propelled, self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) fleets of 95 percent.

GMS said its current secured backlog amounts to $685 million, including $367 million of firm orders. The company signed a major new contract in January for one of its Large Class vessels to support operations for a national oil company (NOC) in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. This four-year charter began as scheduled at the end of 1Q 2015.

A new Enhanced Small Class vessel was delivered to GMS as planned during the quarter and immediately proceeded to its first five-year charter for a NOC in the MENA region.

The company added that its new-build program – aimed at increasing the fleet size by two thirds between 2014 and 2016 – continues to progress well and is on schedule and on budget. The next three vessels to be built at the Group's facilities in Abu Dhabi will be Mid-Size Class vessels.

GMS CEO Duncan Anderson commented in a company statement:

"GMS has had a good first quarter and we are continuing to maintain a very healthy backlog, all of which is OPEX-based work. The flexibility of our vessels, which can be adapted to support diverse operations from well service and maintenance to well abandonment and decommissioning, and their ability to move efficiently under their own propulsion from one project to the next means we are able to offer our clients competitive solutions that are particularly helpful in the current low oil price environment.

"The outlook continues to be for strong demand driven primarily by our core OPEX-related brownfield oil and gas client base, and in particular in the low cost production areas of the Middle East."

GMS had net debt of $355.1 million at the end of 1Q 2015, with undrawn bank facilities of $92.5 million.

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