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Brazil: Lauritzen Prepares for Billion-Investment

Lauritzen Offshore‘s experiences with its residential ship Dan Swift, which is deployed off the coast of Brazil, have been so positive that the company is now considering the acquisition of one or more units, possibly even another residential ship. If so, we are talking about an investment in the billions.

It is the prospect of continuing growth in the offshore sector, particularly in the Brazilian oil industry, that is making Lauritzen Offshore consider this new venture.

"When it comes to offshore development, right now Brazil is the number one hot spot. Pretty much every offshore player is focusing on this country. We have entered a long-term agreement with Petrobras (the oil company dominated by the state, ed.) concerning Dan Swift for five years. I see us having more units, that’s what we are working on," says Michael Kristensen, Chief Operating Officer of Lauritzen Offshore in Rio de Janeiro.

Dan Swift was developed in cooperation with Petrobras to withstand the rough weather up to 350 kilometers off the coast of Brazil.

In addition to the residential ship, Lauritzen’s relatively new venture in the offshore-area consists of three DP (Dynamic Positioning) shuttle tank-ships, which, like the residential ships, are constructed to stand practically still in all kinds of weather when they dock at production installations far from shore. Lauritzen’s three shuttle tank-ships are also operating on long-term contracts for companies in the Petrobras group.

Actually, part of the explanation for the increase in demand is to be found in the Deepwater-Horizon accident in the Mexican Gulf in April 2010. Following the accident, the security requirements for the oilrigs have become tougher, and ongoing maintenance has become a requirement as well. As a result, Dan Swift is currently populated by maintenance personnel working to ensure that the oil rigs are fulfilling the new requirements, while also working to extend the life span of the rigs

"In the long run, we expect to be operating more ships," says Michael Kristensen.

Lauritzen Offshore’s venture took off for real in 2004-2005, where the first plans for the residential ship were presented. In 2009, Dan Swift was completed, and in the same year, the first contract was signed, with Norwegian Statoil. Dan Swift spent three months working in Nigeria in 2011, and Lauritzen is generally expecting the offshore-area to expand to other parts of the world within the next couple of years:

"Until today we have been focused on Brazil, but we are working with different new options. That could be Africa, Australia, or the North Sea," says Michael Kristensen.

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