| 21 November, 2017

Gulf Marine Services sets sights on acquisition due to opportunities

image used for illustrative purpose 
A view of the Adriatic liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Venice, October 20, 2009.

image used for illustrative purpose A view of the Adriatic liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Venice, October 20, 2009.

REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

CEO of London-listed company says demand for its vessels picked up due to rise in oil prices

Abu Dhabi - Gulf Marine Services, which supports the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors with barges, is looking at acquisitions due to opportunities in the market, its chief executive officer told Gulf News in an interview.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Gulf Marine Services provides advanced self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) for offshore oil and gas and renewable energy sectors with projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the North Sea region.

The company has a fleet of fourteen vessels that help in offshore oil and gas platform refurbishment and maintenance activities, offshore wind turbine maintenance work, as well as offshore oil and gas platform installation and decommissioning, among other things.

“There is more room for consolidation with other businesses in future. There are good deals in the market, a number of businesses aren’t doing very well and we can get involved there. We are not actively looking [at acquisitions] right now but the market is open for that kind of activity,” said Duncan Anderson when asked whether the firm is looking at acquisitions or mergers.

The company said tender activity for all its vessels improved in the Middle East market and expects more demand next year as oil prices move upwards due to tightening of global oil markets and geopolitical tensions.

“We are particularly encouraged by the improvements in levels of tender activity for all our vessel classes in our core markets in the Middle East. The return of [the] renewable market in Europe also bodes well for the future.”

“The demand for our large and mid-size class SESVs is especially pleasing. We already have contracts in place so that by second quarter of 2018, six out of seven of these vessels will be on hire and we believe the remaining vessel will be chartered in due course. We are also seeing a rise in tendering for our small class SESVs.”

The firm’s clients include Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), among others.

Aramco is continuing to expand and there are more oilfield developments in the offshore sector, which is good for barges, he said.

The company has been working with Adnoc since 1977, with some of its vessels working continuously for fifteen years.

Due to low oil prices, the firm undertook cost-cutting measures, including reducing staff at its office as well as on some barges.

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