Total cancels Aker vessel charter


Aker Solutions is facing a loss of work worth $150 million after Total decided to terminate the charter of a well intervention vessel from subsidiary Aker Oilfield Services (AOS).

The Norwegian oilfield services contractor failed to give any reason for the cancellation of the two-year contract worth $250 million for the vessel Skandi Aker, which has been working for the French supermajor off Angola, in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The company stated though the vessel has had only 37% utilisation so far this year and has been sidelined since the end of March for maintenance and repairs, with the charter originally due to expire in September 2015.

“The value of the remaining contract period is about $150 million and will be removed from the order backlog,” Aker said, adding more information would be released along with its second-quarter results next month.

It is the latest contractual setback for Aker after it was last year forced to pull the plug on a prestige $1.9 billion deal with Statoil to develop a so-called Category B rig due to insurmountable engineering difficulties.

AOS earlier this year exercised an option to acquire the vessel for an undisclosed sum from DOF Subsea.

The subsidiary is set to be integrated into a new oilfield services investment unit, named Akastor, in September as part of a restructuring of the contractor to cut costs that will see the company divided into two distinct entities.

Akastor will bear the costs of the charter cancellation, according to Oslo-listed Aker, which saw its share price slump around 5.5% to trade at Nkr106 after the announcement.

Aker Solutions will retain responsibility for the core engineering, subsea, umbilicals, maintenance & modification, and operations business areas under the revamp.

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