Cal Dive Creates Well Operations Subsidiary

Cal Dive International, Inc. has formed a new wholly owned subsidiary, Well Ops, Inc., to provide offshore oil and gas operators the industry's largest collection of experience, expertise and technology for cost-effective subsea well operations. Establishment of the Well Ops group of companies follows the construction of the purpose-built Q4000 and the acquisition of the Subsea Well Operations Business Unit of CSO Ltd., previously a subsidiary of Technip-Coflexip. The acquired organization and assets became Well Ops (U.K.) Ltd., in Aberdeen, Scotland. The mission of the new companies is to provide the industry with a single, comprehensive source for addressing current well ops needs, and to engineer for future needs.

Purpose-built vessels serve as work platforms for well operations services at costs significantly less than drilling rigs. In the Gulf of Mexico, the new, multi-service semi-submersible Q4000 and the Uncle John have set a series of "firsts" in increasingly deep water without the use of a rig. The 111-meter, DP3 Seawell has provided intervention and abandonment services for more than 400 North Sea wells since her commissioning in 1987.

Competitive advantages of the CDI vessels stem from their lower operating costs, ability to mobilize quickly and to maximize productive time by performing a broad range of tasks for intervention, construction, inspection, repair and maintenance. With these tools, Well Ops personnel are able to put the skills acquired from 20-plus years of experience to work for operators. Well Ops, Inc. also collaborates with the leading downhole service providers to provide a superior, comprehensive solution. A firm alliance is currently in place with Schlumberger to provide these services.

"Independently, these operations have established leading positions in their respective markets for life-of-field services," said Cal Dive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Owen Kratz. "They also have developed strong experience with multiple technologies, including subsea intervention lubricator (SIL) technology in the U.K. and riser-based intervention in the Americas. Bringing this expertise together in a single organization gives Cal Dive the dedication and focus required to develop additional, best-in-class solutions that will be required to serve the growing inventory of subsea wells."

Executives of the new division are Bill Morrice, general manager of Well Ops (U.K.) Ltd. and Ian Collie, general manager of Well Ops, Inc. Both report to Martin Ferron, Cal Dive President and Chief Operating Officer.