Helix sells stacked intervention vessel

Houston-based services provider sheds ship-shaped unit as company writes down goodwill of robotics segment

Offshore services provider Helix Energy Solutions has sold well-intervention vessel Helix 534, which had been stacked in the US Gulf of Mexico for more than a year.

Helix said in a securities filing this week that it has sold the ship-shaped vessel to an unnamed third party for about $2.8 million. The sale was executed on 21 December 2016.

Helix acquired the vessel from Transocean in 2012 and converted it at Jurong shipyard in Singapore. It joined Helix's fleet in 2013.

Another Helix intervention vessel, Siem Helix 1, which is chartered for work with Petrobras, is in Brazil and currently working through Petrobras' inspection and acceptance process, as start-up has been delayed.

"Inspections and acceptance are proving to take longer than originally anticipated. Our current expectation is that the vessel will commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2017," Helix said in the filing.

Helix's other vessels working in the Americas include the Q4000 and the Q5000. Another intervention vessel, Helix Q7000, is currently under construction at Jurong with delivery, which has been delayed, expected at the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Helix has written down the entire $45.1 million of goodwill associated with its 2002 acquisition of Canyon Offshore, Helix's principal robotics subsidiary.

"Due to the severe and prolonged downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry, we currently expect to record an impairment of goodwill, up to the full $45.1 million, in the fourth quarter of 2016," Helix said of Canyon.

"The impairment charge would be a non-cash charge that does not affect our EBITDA, cash position, financial standing, or bank covenant compliance."

Earlier this week, Helix announced a surprise public stock offering that could raise some $200 million in cash.