ABERDEEN, UK -- Total E&P UK Ltd. has awarded emergency response and rescue vessel operator Viking Offshore Services a contract worth nearly £25 million ($49.6 million) for the deployment of two new vessels in the northern North Sea.
The vessels, part of a nine-strong newbuild program by Viking Offshore, will be delivered in October 2008 and March 2009, and will be committed immediately to five-year field support contracts on the Alwyn/Dunbar fields.
TheViking Pioneer and Viking Prospector will be the sixth and seventh vessels delivered as part of the £55-million ($109-million) investment program and will be modified to reflect client needs, the company says.
"We are delighted to secure a contract with Total that serves both to support our decision to embark on a long-term, newbuild 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," says Viking Offshore chief executive Graham Philip.
The new vessels will be lengthened by 5 m (16.4 ft) in comparison to others in the newbuild program and will offer a greater deck size of 250 sq m (2,691 sq ft). The vessels also will have enhanced features, including fire-fighting monitors and a 5-metric-ton (5.5-ton) deck tugger winch.
The five-year contract also encompassed five further yearly extension options.
All the new vessels are being constructed at the Astilleros Zamakona shipyard in Spain and are to be delivered in a rolling program into early 2009, Viking says.
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.