Dockwise, the Netherlands-based heavy lift shipowner, said it won nine contracts worth $33 million to transport offshore oil and gas equipment to various locations around the world over the next three months.
The Oslo-listed company said the contracts underscored the increasing level of activity in offshore energy exploration that is boosting demand for larger heavy lift vessels.
McDermott Australia has contracted Dockwise to transport a Marlin B jacket structure and a launch barge for the Kipper Tuna Turrum Project in the Bass Strait off the coast of Australia.
Other contracts involve the transport of several jack up rigs, a self-elevating platform and flattop, deck and derrick barges.
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"Offshore exploration, development and production continue to show increasing levels of activity. The slowly increasing level of utilization of the larger jack ups yields more work for the larger vessels," said Dockwise Chief Executive Andre Goedee.
"Port and marine infrastructure activity levels still do not show the level of increase as expected, but nevertheless continue to yield a steady flow of interesting commitments that help to optimize the fleet schedule as much as possible," Goedee said.
Dockwise's major shareholders recently pledged to take up a planned $100 million share issue to fund the construction of a giant new heavy lift ship to transport extremely large and heavy oil and gas production platforms due to come onto the market from 2012.
The company said it expects to decide by the end of the year whether to proceed with the construction of the vessel which would be bigger than the biggest ship in its fleet, the 73,000-ton Blue Marlin.
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