Ineos closes Danish deal
Petrochemical giant Ineos has completed its £1billion deal to buy the oil and gas interests of Denmark’s Dong Energy.
Ineos said it was now the “biggest private enterprise operating in the North Sea”.
A total of 430 staff are transferring into the group’s oil and gas business as a result of a deal giving Ineos 50 North Sea licences in Denmark, Norway and the UK – equating to an average of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.
Ineos oil and gas chief executive Geir Tuft said: “Dong Energy’s oil and gas business is a natural fit . . . as we continue to grow our oil and gas activities.
Ineos began building a North Sea portfolio in 2015, buying 12 UK North Sea fields from Dea. commissioning services. Its purpose-built facilities at Dales Voe and Greenhead Base in Shetland are currently handling the decommissioning of the 12,000tonne Buchan Alpha oil production vessel, while the Leman platform is being dismantled in Great Yarmouth.
Peterson has also made significant progress on a collaborative scheme, along with North Sea operators, to facilitate vessel and other resource sharing through a formal pool arrangement.
The company said it was eyeing “good opportunities internationally”, continuing a growth strategy which last year saw more than £2million invested in “exporting our logistics models to new territories”.
It added: “We expect to benefit from a good contribution from these in 2017.”
Chief executive Erwin Kooij said: “Peterson has delivered a positive performance in what continues to be a challenging time for the energy sector.
“We increased our invest- ment in assets to £3.8million, including a new port crane, trucks and trailers in Aberdeen. In addition, we have our third harbour crane being built in Aberdeen this month.
“The group’s UK-based companies, including Peterson UK Ltd, 80:20 Procurement Services, Peterson Freight Management, LS Customs, Core 29 and StreamBA, contributed much of the group’s operating profit.”
Peterson said North Sea revenue was down by 5% at £197million last year, with this and a fall in profits reflecting the “ongoing reduction in activity in the region and the impact of a tougher pricing environment in 2016”.
Mr Kooij said: “Despite these market conditions, we successfully retained existing contracts with CNR, BP, Eni, Siemens, NorthLink and Centrica, and were awarded new contracts with ConocoPhillips, Statoil, Technip, Chrysaor, Dong, Dana, and Ithaca.
“Developing our relation- ship built in the southern North Sea, we were awarded a five-year integrated logistics contract with Shell for the northern North Sea and now provide supply base and logistics operations support for all Shell’s North Sea assets.
“Peterson Group approaches its centenary in 2020 with a strong balance sheet.”
The group was established in 1920 as a familyowned inspection company for grain, which was traded and transported on the rivers and canals of the Netherlands.
Peterson now operates in more than 70 countries, employing around 4,000 people globally. It has 520 people in the Aberdeen area, up by 30% following recent contract wins. Oil and gas support services company Asco Group narrowed losses during 2016 despite facing “extremely aggressive” competition in the market.
The Aberdeen firm said in its latest accounts a general downward trend in quayside work was offset by the significant drilling activity of one of its local clients.
But it was pricing rather than volumes that were the biggest feature of 2016, Asco said, adding: “One competitor has been extremely aggressive on pricing.
“As a result, we have lost a significant contract in Aberdeen and may lose another in Trinidad.
“These have not materially affected 2016 results as the losses generally came late in the year but they will affect financial performance in 2017 and 2018.
“This will in part be offset by the start-up in the North Sea of a significant new client”.
The accounts, just released by Companies House, show Asco’s workforce shrank by more than 400 to about 1,600 people last year.
Pre-tax losses narrowed to £41.75millon, from £63.8million in 2015, while revenue fell by about 16% to £454.8million.
Chief executive Alan Brown said Asco’s Peterhead operation generated the most profits.