Mermaid associate company AOD clinches two additional contracts with Saudi Aramco

Back Mar 18, 2013

Total value of AOD-Saudi Aramco deals reaches nearly USD 700 million

Bangkok, Thailand, 18 March 2013 – Thoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited (“TTA”) announced today that Asia Offshore Drilling Ltd (“AOD”), an associate company of Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited (“Mermaid”), has concluded two more contracts with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (“Saudi Aramco”), the world’s largest oil and gas company, worth up to USD 462 million of revenues.

The contracts with Saudi Aramco mobilise AOD’s second and third new-build jack-up rigs, AOR-2 and AOR-3, to Saudi Arabia to provide drilling services for a minimum of three years plus a one-year option. The potential revenues for the three-year period for both rigs are approximately USD 394 million as well as a cumulative mobilisation fee of USD 68 million. The rigs are currently under construction at Keppel FELS in Singapore, with scheduled delivery dates in April and July 2013, respectively.

The announcement follows a similar deal concluded in October 2012, also with Saudi Aramco for the first of AOD’s new-build jack-up rigs, AOR-1. The combined potential revenues from AOD’s three rigs stands at nearly USD 700 million over three years. Mermaid founded AOD in 2010 and today holds a 33.76% stake in the company.

“The size of these contracts reaffirms the Company’s view that the oil and gas services sector indeed remains in a cyclical upturn,” said Mr. Chalermchai Mahagitsiri, Executive Vice Chairman of TTA and Mermaid’s acting CEO. “All three of AOD’s rigs, which were locked in at advantageous prices during a relative low point in the industry cycle, will now be able to reap the rewards of what looks to be a multi-year boom that has seen modern, high specification jack-up rigs enjoy up to 100% utilisation.”

“With all three new-build jack-up rigs under contract at good day rates, we are pleased to see our vision become reality through AOD’s success, ” added M.L. Chandchutha Chandratat, TTA’s President & CEO. “In a short period of time, Saudi Aramco has become one of our group’s most significant clients, starting with a five-year inspection, repair, and maintenance contract last year. Going forward, we expect the Middle East to remain a lucrative region for a number of TTA’s business units.”

In a recent move, AOD issued 20 million new shares at a subscription price of USD 5.00 per share, raising USD 100 million in proceeds to fund the completion of AOR-2 and AOR-3. The issue was fully subscribed by Mermaid and Seadrill Limited (“Seadrill”), AOD’s other major shareholder, raising the two partners’ stakes to 33.76% and 66.18%, respectively. Seadrill, a leading offshore drilling company, manages AOD’s contracts on behalf of AOD.

About TTA
Thoresen Thai Agencies Public Company Limited ("TTA") is a strategic investment holding company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (TTA:TB). Its investment strategy is to grow through a balanced and diversified business portfolio of transport, energy, and infrastructure assets, both domestically and internationally. TTA’s evolution away from a pure dry bulk shipping operator began in 1995 with an investment in Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited, which has since been listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (MMT:SP). Since then, TTA has acquired interests in fertiliser and logistics (Baconco Co., Ltd.) coal-related businesses (SKI Energy Resources Inc, Merton Group (Cyprus) Limited, and Unique Mining Services Public Company Limited), petroleum tankers (Petrolift, Inc), and a port in Southern Vietnam (Baria Joint Stock Company of Service for Import Export of Agro Forestry Products and Fertilizers).

About Mermaid
Mermaid Maritime Public Company Limited (“Mermaid”) is a leading provider of subsea and drilling services for the offshore oil and gas industry. Founded by Danish mariners in 1983, the group has since developed a strong blue chip client base that includes some of the world's largest oil and gas-related companies, and is recognised for its client-supportive approach and high quality services delivered safely and efficiently. Its subsea division is represented by Mermaid Offshore Services, Subtech, and Seascape Surveys, which operates as a unified structured unit across markets offering clients a comprehensive range of subsea solutions through a highly competent technical and operations workforce operating out of Thailand, Qatar, and Indonesia. The subsea group owns and operates eight (8) subsea vessels, three (3) of which are specialised dive support vessels (“DSV”), four (4) saturation diving systems and twelve (12) remotely operated vehicle (“ROV”) systems, all of which can be deployed to any region. The subsea group serves clients across South East Asia, India, China, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. Mermaid's drilling division comprises Mermaid Drilling, which provides tender-assist drilling and accommodation barge services through its ownership of two (2) tender rigs, and its investment with Seadrill Ltd. in AOD, which has three (3) high specification jack-up drilling rigs that are being delivered in 2013. Mermaid's corporate headquarters is located in Bangkok, Thailand and is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (MMT:SP). For more information, please visit www.mermaid-maritime.com

About Asia Offshore Drilling Ltd
Asia Offshore Drilling Ltd (“AOD”) was established by Mermaid in 2010, with the aim of owning and operating a fleet of modern high specification jack-up rigs. As of today, the Company has three wholly owned subsidiaries, Asia Offshore Rig 1 Limited (“AOR1”), Asia Offshore Rig 2 Limited (“AOR2”), and Asia Offshore Rig 3 Limited (“AOR3”). AOD is listed in Norway on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has taken delivery of its first jack-up rig in February 2013. For more information, please visit www.aodrilling.com.

About Saudi Arabian Oil Company
Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, headquartered in Dhahran. Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil company by production volume and reserves, managing crude oil and condensate reserves of 259.7 billion barrels. Aramco is a fully integrated petroleum company with exploration, production, refining, petrochemicals, marketing, and international shipping. Aramco’s average daily crude production in 2011 was 9.1 million barrels per day, while its operations span 1.5 million kilometres throughout Saudi Arabia, including the territorial waters of the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea.

For further information, please contact:

Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc
Ravisada Angkeeros E-mail: ravisada_a@thoresen.com
Tel: +66 2254 8437 Ext. 393 Mobile: +6681398 5098

Or MSL Hong Kong
Eric Abelev E-mail: eric.abelev@mslgroup.com
Tel: +852 2804 8107 / +852 6355 8420