Aker Sets Out Strategic Goals

Norwegian oilfield services firm Aker Solutions has added more detail to the thinking behind its decision last September to split into two separate companies. The firm plans to builds on what it sees as its strengths in two key markets: subsea and field design.

In September Aker announced it was keeping its best assets in a streamlined firm under new management while spinning off the remainder of its business into Akastor – a new oil services investment company.

Ahead of meeting with its investors in London Tuesday, Aker said its strategic objectives included a focus on offshore, deep-water, subsea and harsh environment market segments. It also plans to maintain its global presence and further develop its portfolio so that it has a mix of diverse customers, regions and strong contracts.

"The split allows us to reduce complexity, build on synergies and bring down costs, which makes us much better equipped to respond to the needs of customers in the 22 countries where we operate," Aker CEO Luis Araujo.

"Our focus now is on creating value for our clients and shareholders through the right technology development, quality in execution, cost control and by applying the full force of our engineering skills at the conceptual stage of a project to find the most effective solutions."

Aker reported in mid-February that it boosted its total order backlog to a near-record level of $6.3 million by the end of December.

Yesterday, the firm won a contract from Statoil to deliver a concept study for future phase of the North Sea's Johan Sverdrup development.

Aker noted that uncertainty has increased of oil services firms due to spending cuts back by operators and that this is particularly affecting the Norwegian maintenance, modifications and operations [MMO] market. Consequently, the firm is expecting a continued slowdown in this area over the next couple of years.

However, Araujo said Aker was optimistic over the longer term.

"Our leading technology, engineering and project management skills put us in a prime position to benefit from a shift toward more complex offshore resources. Few companies are better placed in the global deep-water and subsea segments, which are among the fastest-growing offshore oil and gas markets in recent years," he said.



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