Virtual shipyard confident as industry strives for small field solutions

The name Gotaverken Arendal, or GVA, was synonymous with the building and upgra-ding of drilling rigs during the 1980s.

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The name Gotaverken Arendal, or GVA, was synonymous with the building and upgra-ding of drilling rigs during the 1980s. During that period, 20 newbuild offshore units, 14 of them semisubmersible units, were delivered from the shipyard at Arendal near Gothenburg. But times changed, and so has the organization. - Gotaverken Arendal was responsible for upgrading the Petrobras XXIII for deepwater drilling. The contract value was US$110 million; the rig was delivered in mid-1998.

Some will remember that the shipyard closed in 1989. More recently, the design arm of the former company became part of the BMT Group, trading as GVA Consultants. Additionally, late last year, senior managers staged a buy-out from the Swedish parent company, Celsius, to set up the new Gotaverken Arendal AB, principally as an offshore project management company.

The firm's president, Hakan Andreasson, prefers to describe GVA as a "virtual shipyard." His organization is offering the ability to take on all aspects of the building, conversion or upgrading of a client's offshore facility; this could well include arranging the financing for the work.

The new company also maintains close links with GVA Consultants. The company is looking at a series of smaller oil and gas prospects in different parts of the world and keeping an eye on the availability of semisubmersible vessels which could be converted to produce them, the aim being to put together a project with a suitably-sized operator.

Andreasson is naturally guarded about his company's intentions but conceded that he would consider taking an ownership position on the right project. "All kinds of financial mechanisms are possible," he said.

Actually, the company does not see finance being the problem in the near future. It feels that the combination of a higher oil price and oil companies with buildups of cash could lead to a scramble for new drilling and production facilities. "There could soon be a lot of contracts let at the same time," says Andreasson. "As a small company, we can only do one or two at a time. We may have to select carefully."

One of the advantages Andreasson has is the design of the GVA 5800E advanced, deepwater drilling rig, developed on his company's account by GVA Consultants. "In a good shipyard, for example in Korea, it would take us less than two and a half years from receiving the go-ahead to produce a rig capable of drilling in 10,000 ft water depth," said Andreasson. He adds that the company is in preliminary talks with several interested parties with the aim of setting up conditional procurement arrangements to save a further six months on the project schedule.

For more information contact Halan Andreasson, Gotaverken Arendal. Tel: + 46 31 658656, Fax: +46 31 516533, E-mail: hakan.andreasson@celsius.se

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