Aker Companies, DOF Target Subsea Oilfield Services

Aker, Aker Kværner, Aker Yards and DOF Subsea have established Aker Oilfield Services Ltd. The initial ownership will be 75 percent to the Aker companies, through the recently established Aker Innovation entity, and 25 percent to DOF Subsea.

Aker Oilfield Services has been established to target the growing market for increased oil recovery services for subsea wells. The company will offer its customers subsea light well intervention services by means of both riserless and riser-based subsea well intervention systems.

Aker Oilfield Services will be a turnkey provider through having in-house access to the entire spectrum of hardware, software and personnel required to undertake subsea well intervention operations in water depths up to 2.500m. Aker Oilfield Services is also expected to introduce other value creating services based on technology being developed by Aker Kværner, hereunder light, medium and heavy well intervention techniques and light drilling technologies.

Additional services will be provided from Aker Oilfield Services' vessels in co-operation with DOF Subsea and includes cable / umbilical installation services, light subsea construction / maintenance and survey and inspection work.

The unfavorable development in the oil and gas reserves replacement ratio combined with the growing and ageing installed base of subsea wells result in a strong growth in the subsea well intervention market going forward. The Partners are strongly committed to supporting Aker Oilfield Services in order to become a global market leader in this segment.

In relation to this, Aker Oilfield Services has signed a contract with Aker Yards for building four high specification well intervention vessels for delivery in 2010 and 2011 as well as two options. The contract is subject to financing. In addition, Aker Oilfield Services has entered into various agreements with Aker Kværner covering subsea and well intervention equipment and personnel, and with DOF Subsea for vessel management and a conditional contract for charter of a vessel commencing 2009.

Aker Oilfield Services will have a total funding requirement of around US$1 billion, financed with a combination of senior bank loan (approx 70 percent), and new equity placed through a private placement (approx. 30 percent).

The initiators intend to subscribe for a substantial amount of the new shares offered in the private placement. The establishment and financing of Aker Oilfield Services is expected to be completed by mid-March 2007.

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