Total Awards New-vessel Contract to Viking Offshore

Leading emergency response and rescue vessel operator Viking Offshore Services has been awarded a contract worth nearly £25million by Total E&P UK Limited for the deployment of two new vessels in the northern North Sea.

The vessels – part of a nine-strong new-build program by Viking Offshore – will be delivered in October 2008 and March 2009 and will immediately be committed to five-year field support contracts with Total on location in the Alwyn/Dunbar fields.

The Viking Pioneer and Viking Prospector will be the sixth and seventh vessels delivered as part of the £55million investment program and will be specially modified to reflect client needs.

Viking Offshore Chief Executive Graham Philip said:

"We are delighted to secure a contract with Total that serves both to support our decision to embark on a long-term, new-build investment, and to illustrate Total's commitment to deploying modern support services of the highest quality.

"The fact we are modifying the vessels to meet the specific requirements of Total also demonstrates a flexibility that is key in today's competitive marketplace."

The Pioneer and Prospector will be lengthened by a further five meters in comparison to others in the program, and will offer a greater deck size of 250m². They will also possess enhanced features such as fire-fighting monitors and a five-tonne deck tugger winch.

The five-year contract also encompassed five further yearly options to extend.

Viking Offshore's nine-vessel deal is the largest-ever single order for ERRVs and signals the company's long-term commitment to providing key field support services for the oil and gas sector. The vessels will be certified to operate in the UK, Norway, Denmark and Holland.

The investment program will allow Aberdeen-based Viking Offshore to replace older vessels in its current 31-vessel fleet while increasing the number of multi-role vessels and thus improving its range of value added services.

All the new vessels are being constructed at the Astilleros Zamakona shipyard in Spain and are to be delivered in a rolling program until early 2009.

Aberdeen-based Viking Offshore Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viking Supply Ships A/S, which in turn is part of Kistefos A/S, a privately owned Norwegian investment company.

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