Rolls-Royce acquires leading supplier of ship control systems Servowatch
Rolls-Royce has acquired Servowatch Systems, a UK-based international supplier of integrated marine automation solutions for navies, commercial vessels and large yachts. Representatives of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems business unit and the company’s previous owner, the Indian engineering, procurement and construction projects, manufacturing, defence and services group Larsen & Toubro, signed the contracts on 2 December.
Servowatch, based in Heybridge, Essex, will significantly expand the ship automation division of the MTU product and solution brand of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems business. "Servowatch's modern and sophisticated range of automation and integrated bridge systems for government and commercial ships and large yachts is the ideal complement to continue to offer sophisticated total system solutions for marine propulsion systems and the entire ship automation sector," said Andreas Schell, CEO Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “Building on a state of the art automation platform and connecting it with our MTU SmartBridge and Digital Solutions we consequently follow our system strategy and being able to provide a fully integrated bridge-to-propeller-solution for our customers,” Schell added.
The new subsidary's open automation systems will be fully integrated into MTU's product range. "With our Bluevision and Callosum systems, we have positioned ourselves excellently in the market for ship automation over the past two and a half decades. We are the only engine manufacturer in the world that can also supply the electronic platform for monitoring and controlling the entire ship. With Servowatch, we will continue to expand this position and modernize our product portfolio," said Knut Müller, Vice President of the Marine and Governmental Division of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems business unit.
Servowatch employs approximately 35 people at its headquarters in Heybridge, with additional 11 people in India. Servowatch automation systems monitor and control the operation of numerous large ships, for example large yachts and government vessels - not only the propulsion system, but also numerous other functions such as heating and ventilation and power supply.
"Servowatch is completely complementary to what we do in marine automation,” Kevin Daffey Director Marine Systems & Automation at Rolls-Royces’ Power Systems business unit said. “Our new family member is focussed on ships generally powered by high speed diesel engines and an integrated system based around their world class Winmon9 software. The integration with MTU products will help us add more lifecycle services through on-board data collection and edge analytics to inform the ship’s crew about vessel performance“, he added.
Wayne Ross, Managing Director Servowatch Systems says: “The team at Servowatch are very pleased and proud to be joining Rolls-Royce Power Systems and see very positively the synergy of products, also the focus on innovation and customer service, that is the recognised hallmark of Rolls-Royce globally. We look forward to contributing our efforts and products to the group, also to our further development as a business unit, under Rolls-Royce ownership".
The commercial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
MT30 selected again for Korean FFX batch III programme
The Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbine has been selected for the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN) FFX Batch III frigate, known as the Ulsan-class frigate which will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Rolls-Royce has already successfully worked with the RoKN to introduce a revolutionary, modern and simple, hybrid propulsion system arrangement for all eight ships in the Daegu-class FFX Batch II frigate programme – each powered by a single MT30 gas turbine and electric propulsion motors powered by four Rolls-Royce MTU diesel generators per ship.
The use of the MT30 across the Batch II and Batch III frigates will deliver commonality benefits to the customer, such as spare parts, support infrastructure and training.
For FFX Batch III, the Ulsan-class frigate programme, Rolls-Royce will also supply Engine Health Management (EHM) capability with its MT30 marine gas turbine. Supporting leaner naval forces, EHM technology delivers through-life benefits, such as reduced manpower and maintenance costs, by enabling the collection of reliable engine data and analysis to maximise asset availability and optimise on-board maintenance.
As part of Rolls-Royce’s on-going design collaboration with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the specialised integrated gas turbine enclosure for MT30, HHI-EMD will continue to be responsible for the manufacture of this highly complex engineering enclosure and all ancillaries in-country, as well as continuing to provide in-service support.
Jay Lee (Jongyel Lee), Vice President of Business Development & Future Programmes, Defence – Naval, Korea said: “Today, Rolls-Royce remains at the forefront of naval propulsion technology. MT30 is powering many of the world’s most advanced platforms in all conceivable propulsion configurations. We are delighted that MT30 has once again been selected to power the latest batch of FFX frigates and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the Republic of Korea Navy and HHI.
“MT30 first entered service with the Republic of Korea Navy’s Daegu-class in 2018. Its selection for FFX Batch III is a testament to the confidence that our customer has in the proven performance of this modern and superior engine.”
“Selecting the right power and propulsion system is one of the most important decisions our customers will face when designing their new platforms. We are committed to working closely with the Republic of Korea Navy to provide them with the most adaptable propulsion systems based on the most modern technology available today. This will ensure our customers can retain their military advantage via future technology insertion without having to endure costly upgrades to legacy power generation capability throughout the life of their ships.”
Designed for the 21st century, MT30 is proven at sea, delivering long-term reliability, unrivalled life-long performance with operating cost efficiencies. The MT30 gas turbine is already in service with several navies around the globe including the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship and Zumwalt-class destroyers, the Republic of Korea’s Daegu-class frigates, the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Italian Navy’s new Landing Helicopter Dock. More recently MT30 has been selected to power the Japanese Maritime Defence Force’s advanced 30-FFM frigate and in single gas turbine CODLOG (Combined Diesel Electric or Gas) configuration for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programmes for the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.
Beyond the FFX programme, the power density of the proven naval MT30 gas turbine genset is also one of the key enablers for Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP) for the next - generation RoKN destroyer (KDDX). Rolls-Royce’s extensive experience in IFEP powered warships such as the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers and Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and the U.S. Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers, will support the RoKN’s technological ambitions and their SMART Navy Vision 2045, delivering game-changing military capability in next generation destroyers.
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Rolls-Royce strenghthens Gulfstream on-site support with new customer service centre
Rolls-Royce has officially opened its latest customer support facility in Savannah, Georgia, USA. The new 62,000 sqft (5,800 m²) Savannah Customer Service Centre is adjacent to the new Gulfstream Service Center East and is scheduled to be fully operational by end of this year. It will house an on-site customer support office, an on wing services repair facility, a powerplant completion centre, and a warehouse all under one roof. The investment will create additional highly-skilled jobs over the next years, increasing the total number of our employees supporting Gulfstream and its customers.
The new service centre was named the Rolls-Royce Raines Building, in honour of local aviation pioneer Hazel Jane Raines. Raines was Georgia’s First Lady of Aviation, a strong advocate for women’s rights and an inspiring trailblazer for women in aviation.
From the beginning of our business aviation activities in 1958, marked by the first flight of the Dart-powered Gulfstream I, to the recent first flight of Gulfstream’s Pearl 700-powered flagship G700, Rolls-Royce and Gulfstream have developed a strong and successful partnership. Rolls Royce currently produces the BR710 and BR725 engines for Gulfstream’s G550 and G650 and develops the Pearl 700 to power the G700. Overall, we support more than 2,100 Gulfstream business jets worldwide via our dedicated 24/7 Business Aviation Availability Centre.
Many of those aircraft are covered by CorporateCare® and CorporateCare Enhanced; about 70 per cent of new delivery Rolls-Royce powered aircraft are enrolled in the programme. CorporateCare Enhanced, the comprehensive, fixed-cost engine maintenance management plan, provides customers with a global support infrastructure which includes: Engine Health Monitoring, a worldwide network of Authorised Service Centres and globally distributed spare parts and engines.
Andy Robinson, SVP Customers & Services - Business Aviation, Rolls-Royce, said: “As the leading engine manufacturer in Business Aviation, our customers trust in us to deliver outstanding levels of in-service support. This brand-new customer support facility is a strategic investment, which takes our longstanding partnership with Gulfstream to the next level and will help us deliver market-leading services to our Business Aviation customers in North America.
“The new Rolls-Royce Savannah Customer Services Center reflects the strong partnership between our two companies and our continued mutual commitment to providing a world-class ownership experience for our operators,” said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. “The first of its kind within the Rolls-Royce network, this facility serves as a strategic complement to our two Gulfstream Savannah Service Centers, providing extensive engine capabilities where they’ll have the greatest impact: at our company and manufacturing headquarters.”
“Global Fortune 500 companies like Rolls-Royce choosing to expand in Georgia are a testament to our strength in advanced manufacturing and logistics, particularly within our $57.5 billion aerospace sector supported by the Port of Savannah – now the top port for U.S. exports,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “I am grateful to Rolls-Royce for their continued investment in the Peach State and look forward to seeing the opportunities this expansion brings to the hardworking folks of Southeast and Coastal Georgia.”
Rolls-Royce to supply Bibloc® pressure transmitters to Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors in UK
Rolls-Royce has signed a contract with Hinkley Point C for the delivery of safety critical Bibloc® pressure transmitters for the two EPR nuclear reactors currently under construction in Somerset, UK.
Hinkley Point C, which is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than 20 years, will provide low-carbon electricity for around six million homes, create thousands of jobs and bring lasting benefits to the UK economy.
As part of this contract, Rolls-Royce will provide 140 safety classified (K1) Bibloc® pressure transmitters, which will perform flow, level and pressure measurements of the Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS).
Robert Sommacal, Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear France, Business Unit Director, said: “We are delighted to be a part of the Hinkley Point C project. We will contribute to ensure the nuclear safety of the reactors, which will generate safe, reliable and low-carbon electricity for 60 years. This contract is further proof of the excellence of our Bibloc® technology and of the specific expertise of our teams”.
Qualified for 60 years of operation, Bibloc® pressure transmitters are designed and manufactured by Rolls-Royce I&C teams based in Grenoble - France, and have already been chosen to be implemented in more than 90 nuclear reactors worldwide.
Rolls-Royce supplies power solutions for SpaceDC’s first Indonesian green focused data center facility
Rolls-Royce delivered 3 MTU gas and diesel systems for SpaceDC data centre in Jakarta
MTU gensets are specifically designed for efficiency and hot and humid conditions
Common goal: Lowering the environmental impact of data centres
SpaceDC officially launched its new ID01 25.45MW data centre campus with Rolls-Royce technology beginning of November 2020. It is the first green focused data centre in Indonesia. With innovative design and infrastructure SpaceDC enables a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.3, which is changing the industry’s approach to carbon footprint. Three MTU gas and diesel systems from Rolls-Royce with the latest exhaust aftertreatment technology provide efficient and clean base load and emergency power as well as cooling.
“There is growing demand for local data centres in Southeast Asia, even more since the Covid-19 crisis”, says Darren Hawkins, CEO of SpaceDC. “With the trend of decarbonization new concepts of power supply for data centres are at the forefront.” SpaceDC is a data centre provider who aims to lower the environmental impact of data centres. “This company philosophy fits very well with Rolls-Royce's goal of continuously enhancing the eco-friendliness of our drive and energy systems and bringing them closer to CO2 neutrality,” explains Andreas Görtz, Vice President Power Generation at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
For the JAK2 facility in the SpaceDC campus in Jakarta, Rolls-Royce supplied three containerized gas and diesel systems. The diesel systems, which secure the emergency power supply of the data centre, comprise two MTU 20V4000 DS3300 gensets in a 40 ft container with SCR systems to reduce emissions.
“Reliable backup power is the lifeblood for any data centre – and it is absolutely fundamental in creating a world class facility,” said Darren Hawkins. “In designing our JAK2 data centre, we selected Rolls-Royce, with its MTU products, as our partner because they provide the best in market technology and power efficiency for this data centre, which is aligned with our vision of meeting international standards as part of the overall value proposition to our customers in the region and beyond.”
A 20-cylinder MTU Series 4000L64 FNER gas genset in a 40ft container is installed as CHP (Combined Heat and Power) application with a total efficiency of above 90%. The system will provide baseload electricity and cooling via an absorption chiller utilising the exhaust gas heat to provide cooling. The MTU gas systems offer best in class power density and have been designed specifically to withstand hot and humid conditions. This is especially crucial for the facility in Jakarta where the climate is tropical almost year-round. The MTU power solutions offer an extended Time Between Overhaul (TBO) of 84,000 hours, requiring less maintenance and overhaul intervals for maximum productivity and reliability.
“Deploying generators in a tropical environment like Indonesia comes with a unique set of challenges, especially for a data centre environment where uptime is absolutely critical. We’re proud that our Series 4000 generator sets will help SpaceDC meet the special demands of the location and ensure the highest levels of reliability for their customers,” said Andreas Görtz.
“Working with SpaceDC, we’ve seen great synergy in developing complete power generation solutions that are market-leading in terms of efficiency and reliability. And we are proud that they chose us as a partner to support them with our sustainability service and backup power”, said Waluyanto Sukajat, Acting Managing Director, PT. MTU Indonesia.
Press photos are available for download from
Rolls-Royce signs agreements for delivery of almost 1000 MTU products at Chinese import conference CIIE
Largest ever agreements for MTU product delivery at China International Import Expo
Agreements include MTU Series 2000 and 4000 engines and gensets for power generation and mining applications
Rolls-Royce also signs strategic cooperation agreements with Jianglong Shipyard, Aulong Shipyard, VPower and SUMEC
Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems has signed agreements for the delivery of a record number of MTU products as well as two strategic partnership agreements at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) which was held in Shanghai: Six Chinese companies have signed frame agreements for the delivery of almost 1000 MTU engines and systems of Series 2000 and 4000 for use in power generation and mining applications. In addition, Rolls-Royce Power Systems signed strategic cooperation agreements with partners from the marine, power generation and mining industry. The agreements on the delivery of MTU engines and systems are part of new purchasing framework agreements with the power generation companies Cooltech, Tellhow, Pauway, UNPower and SUMEC. For the first time at CIIE, Rolls-Royce also signed agreements for the mining application: The company inked a procurement framework agreement with Inner Mongolia North Hauler Joint Stock Co Ltd, a leading Chinese mining machinery manufacturer. CRRC DATONG Co Ltd also placed an order for one MTU engine for use in a mining dump truck. The strategic cooperation agreements were signed with Jianglong Shipyard, Aulong Shipyard, VPower and SUMEC.
Tobias Ostermaier, President Greater China at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “China is our most important growth market and our ambition is to be in China for China. In recent years, we have turned into a provider of integrated solutions for Chinese business partners: We have formed multiple joint ventures and established a Customer Care Center as well as a Tech Center in-country to be closer to customers and better satisfy their needs. It’s great to see these efforts bearing fruit with the frame agreements and strategic cooperation agreements we signed at CIIE. We are very grateful for the trust and confidence our customers put in our products and solutions.”
Rolls-Royce Power Systems reached a breakthrough in the Chinese marine market with the multi-party strategic partnership agreement with Jianglong Shipyard, Aulong Shipyard and VPower Group. Jianglong Shipyard is China’s leading designer and manufacturer of aluminum hull high speed vessels, a key market for MTU products. Aulong Shipyard is a joint venture of Austal and Jianglong. VPower Group is one of the world’s leading system integrators in the power generation sector and distributor for MTU products in China. The new strategic partnership will focus on MTU Series 2000 and 4000 engines.
Growth opportunities from the acceleration of China’s New Infrastructure development are at the heart of the strategic partnership which Rolls-Royce Power Systems and SUMEC agreed at CIIE, explained Fu Min Chu, Vice President of Sales and Business Development Greater China at MTU China: “Our backup power solutions will help SUMEC capture growth opportunities in China, especially in the booming data center market.”
Expanding market share and establishing and deepening partnerships in China are key to the success of the PS 2030 strategy, under which Rolls-Royce Power Systems is currently transforming from an engine manufacturer to a provider of integrated sustainable power solutions. Rolls-Royce has been producing MTU engines in China since 2006. In addition, Rolls-Royce formed MTU Yuchai Power, a joint venture with Chinese diesel engine manufacturer Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company, in 2017. The company produces MTU Series 4000 engines for power generation in its plant in Yulin, Guangxi Province.
Rolls-Royce to test 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel in next generation engine demonstrator
Ground tests with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to demonstrate Rolls-Royce engines can unlock SAF’s potential to reduce emissions
As part of its ongoing decarbonisation strategy, Rolls-Royce is to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel for the first time in engine ground tests on next-generation engine technology.
The tests will aim to confirm that unblended SAF makes a significant contribution to improving the environmental performance of gas turbine engines.
The SAF being used in the tests was produced by low-carbon fuel specialist World Energy in Paramount, California, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG. This unblended fuel has the potential to significantly reduce net CO2 lifecycle emissions by more than 75 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel, with the possibility of further reductions in years to come.
These tests aim to demonstrate that our current engines can operate with 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” option, laying the groundwork for moving such fuels towards certification. At present, SAF is certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used on all current Rolls-Royce engines.
Starting in the coming weeks in Derby, UK, the ground tests will involve a Trent engine which also incorporates ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) lean-burn technology.
ALECSys is part of the UltraFan® next generation engine demonstrator programme, which offers a 25% fuel saving over the first generation of Trent engines.
Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer, said: “Aviation is a tremendous force for good, keeping the world connected, but we have to do that sustainably. These tests aim to show that we can deliver real emissions reductions. If SAF production can be scaled up – and aviation needs 500 million tonnes a year by 2050 - we can make a huge contribution for our planet.”
Gene Gebolys, Chief Executive Officer and founder, World Energy, said: “World Energy exists to empower leaders to innovate by providing the world’s most advanced low carbon fuels. Rolls-Royce is putting their technological prowess to work to understand how to maximise their potential in engines and we are proud to support them.”
Theye Veen, Managing Director, SkyNRG, added: “This programme is a great example of what can be achieved when companies from across the aviation value chain that share an ambition of reducing emissions work together. As a pioneer in SAF, SkyNRG encourages innovative tests like this run by Rolls-Royce.”
In addition to supplying the SAF with SkyNRG, Shell Aviation is also providing Rolls-Royce with AeroShell lubricants for the ALECSys engine test programme.
Anna Mascolo, President, Shell Aviation, commented: “For over 100 years, Rolls-Royce and Shell have worked together to drive aviation’s progress. This collaboration brings us one step closer to decarbonising Aviation. As well as the SAF, Shell Aviation will provide offsets using nature-based solutions to make the test net zero emissions, reinforcing how multiple measures are essential if aviation is to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions.”
The ALECSys programme is supported by the European Union via Clean Sky and in the UK by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK; the 100% SAF testing programme is additionally supported by ATI, iUK and Gulf Aviation.
EUROJET signs contract with NETMA for provision of 56 new EJ200 engines for the German Air Force
EUROJET Turbo GmbH (EUROJET), the consortium responsible for the EJ200 engine installed in the Eurofighter Typhoon, today signed a contract with the NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) to provide 56 new EJ200 engines for the German Air Force.
The contract, signed in Munich, between Miguel Angel Martin Perez, General Manager of NETMA, and Gerhard Bähr, CEO of EUROJET, covers EJ200 engines for a new order of Tranche 4 Typhoon fighter aircraft. Production of the engine modules will be carried out locally by the four partner companies of the EUROJET consortium; Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, ITP and Avio Aero. As partner for the German Air Force, final assembly of the engines will take place at MTU Aero Engines with deliveries to the German customer scheduled to begin in 2023.
Commenting on the finalisation of the contract Mr Bähr stated: “This contract signature is a clear statement of confidence in the platform and of the performance and sustainability of the EJ200 engines which power it. In addition, it also demonstrates a high level of confidence in the consortium and its European industrial base, and will secure highly skilled workplaces in the aerospace industry in the coming years.”
BP market value at 26-year low as investor confidence shaken.
Oil firm slumps to value of £40.5bn, well below that of offshore wind developer Orsted.
BP’s market value has fallen below 200p a share for the first time since 1994 with investor faith in the future of the oil industry shaken by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 26-year share-price low means the oil company is worth little more than £40.5bn, well below the market value of the Danish offshore wind developer Orsted, which in less than two years has doubled its value on the Copenhagen stock exchange to more than £51bn.
BP is also now a substantially less valuable business than Diageo, which is worth slightly less than £60bn. The 111-year old oil company is also worth less than a third of the market value of Unilever, which is worth £124bn.
The company’s share price has buckled under the growing pressures affecting the global oil industry amid the coronavirus pandemic. The historic share-price lows have also emerged as the company prepares to overhaul its business by cutting investment in fossil fuels in favour of clean energy alternatives.
Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has also lost ground in the equity markets, and at $141bn is now worth less than the US renewable energy firm NextEra Energy, valued at $145bn.
ExxonMobil was eclipsed by NextEra Energy, a Florida-based clean energy company, early in October, just months after it was also surpassed by Netflix, at the height of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Covid-19 pandemic has battered global oil demand this year, and threatens to hasten the terminal decline of fossil fuel use as governments turn to green energy industries to reboot economies.
Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, addressed the concerns raised by one retail shareholder in a social media post on LinkedIn this month, saying the share price slide was “down to a number of factors”, including the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on oil demand.
Looney said: “Our entire sector has experienced similar drops this year, and if anything we feel that in itself is a robust case for change. As for our strategy, it is a long-term approach, and we believe that we will create more value through this shift than we would if we kept doing what we were doing.
“At the end of the day shareholders … want to see us deliver on what we laid out. Words are cheap, actions count. And we are very confident we will deliver.”
Tullow seeks state agreement on Turkana costs
Tullow Oil’s longstanding ambition to sell part of its stake in Kenya’s much-delayed Turkana crude project may depend on the Anglo-Irish firm agreeing state compensation for its development costs.
Kenya’s Turkana oil reserves, discovered in 2012, are estimated at 560mn bl. Tullow owns 50pc of the project, while its partners, Canada’s Africa Oil Corp. and Total, each hold 25pc.
A top Tullow executive told Petroleum Economist last year that FID would likely happen in the second half of 2020, having signed heads of terms with Kenya last June, but this year’s oil price slump has again placed the project in doubt.
In August, Tullow and its partners with withdrew a force majeure notice, declared in May, as Covid-19 restrictions eased and the government confirmed tax incentives would continue to apply.
Tullow described as “ludicrous” a Kenyan newspaper report claiming it had asked for KES204bn ($1.88bn) in compensation from Kenya’s government in lieu of exploration costs incurred from 2012 onwards.
“We have submitted our expenditure for audit ahead of cost recovery as and when production starts, but clearly we only recover our costs from production as per [the] licence,” says Tullow.
On the government response to its submission, the company says: “We are going through a process—an entirely normal process that happens in all oil producing countries—to agree what costs are covered.”
Tullow expects to reach an agreement with the Kenyan government, adding “the joint venture has spent circa $2bn in Kenya since 2011; we would look to recover a considerable part of that plus development costs as part of cost recovery. I do not know how long the audit process will take. We need a viable project first.”
These negotiations will be the first significant test for Kenya’s 2019 petroleum and energy bill as well as the authority and capacity of the fledgling energy regulator, says Edward Hobey-Hamsher, a senior analyst at consultancy Verisk Maplecroft's Africa Risk Insights team.
“If the two parties cannot agree, the base-case scenario is that Tullow seeks international arbitration, a right enshrined in the petroleum act,” he says.
“A lengthy drawn-out case would re-establish perceptions of Kenya prior to the legislative reforms as a frontier market unprepared for IOCs engaged in latter-stage exploration and production. It would also hasten the planned divestments and farm-downs of Tullow and Total, while deterring new market entrants.”
The lack of export infrastructure remains the biggest challenge to the Turkana project, according to Hobey-Hamsher, with Turkana’s oil slated to be transported from the 4.33km2 oil production and processing facility to Lamu port in northern Kenya via an 820km, $1.1bn pipeline.
The pipeline’s route and capacity has still to be agreed, and the connection is unlikely to be commissioned before 2027, consultancy Wood Mackenzie estimates. Tullow had hoped to complete it in 2023.
The company, which in its half-year results slashed the value of its Kenyan assets to $295.4mn from $1.19bn a year earlier, has suspended plans to sell a 15-20pc stake in Turkana “pending a comprehensive review … to ensure it continues to be robust at low oil prices, and also consider the strategic alternatives for the asset”. Tullow has also delayed FID.
Total to exit?
Total, which did not respond to requests for comment, has refused to commit its share of the Turkana budget for the 2020 financial year, according to Kenyan media. The French major has also threatened to quit Kenya, Africa Intelligence reports, citing a company letter to Kenya’s petroleum secretary.
“Total and Tullow want to at least farm-down their Kenyan interests, which isn’t the greatest signal,” says Conor Ward, an upstream analyst at research and consulting firm GlobalData Energy. “Total is the largest, most stable of the partners, so if they farm out completely then this project will likely face increased financing hurdles."
FID is now likely in 2022, according to both Hobey-Hamsher and Ward.
“From our valuations, this is quite a good project,” adds Ward. “If oil prices return to 2019 levels next year, they should attract some more interest from other companies.”
BP reportedly to make global job cuts mandatory
UK-headquartered oil and gas major BP is reportedly set to make 7,500 ‘compulsory redundancies’ after roughly 2,500 employees applied for voluntary severance.
UK-headquartered oil and gas major BP is reportedly set to make 7,500 ‘compulsory redundancies’ after roughly 2,500 employees applied for voluntary severance.
News agency Reuters produced the figures citing an internal company memo and other BP sources.
Most of the job cuts will come from office-based staff in BP’s ‘oil and gas exploration and production’ division.
The news agency quoted BP as stating: “We are continuing to make progress towards fully defining our new organisation… We expect the process to complete and for all staff to know their positions in the coming months.”
The frontline production facilities will not be impacted with the layoffs.
Reuters cited the memo as stating: “This means around a quarter of the headcount reduction that Bernard outlined in June, will be voluntary.
“We know that for some people for various reasons they feel that now is the right time for them to leave BP, but for many it will still have been a difficult decision.”
In June, BP announced that it would release 15% of its current staff, impacting nearly 10,000 jobs. The company employs around 70,100 people worldwide.
The job cuts come as downturn due to the Covid-19 crisis caused oil prices to slump.
In April, BP planned to cut capital spending by 25% to $12bn this year in the wake of the oil price crash triggered by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Earlier this month, ExxonMobil announced plans to reduce workforce levels across a number of its affiliates in Europe as part of the company’s worldwide review of its operations.
Westwood Global Energy Group comments on Premier Oil reverse takeover by Chrysaor - part one
Premier has recommended that its investors accept a reverse takeover offer from Chrysaor creating an E&P company with 245 000 boe/d of production. Premier will retain its stock market listing, but its existing equity investors will only own c.5% of the merged company while its bondholders will only get between 61-75 cents in the US$ owed to them. Despite this, the deal appears to be fair value given Premier’s need for a financial restructuring given its May 2021 debt maturity.
The deal consolidates Chrysaor’s position as the number one UK producer. Premier’s North Sea assets are a good fit and the combined portfolio will provide synergies, with Chrysaor now having the ability to reduce its UK tax liabilities from Premier’s tax losses – though at a cost to the UK treasury. Premier’s international assets, particularly Zama and Sea Lion, could provide growth options to diversify the portfolio and offset the underlying decline in production from the mature UK fields.
This note gives a preliminary assessment of the deal from each company’s perspective and the outlook for the merged company and the wider North Sea M&A market.
Premier is to merge with Chrysaor, the UK’s largest oil and gas producer, in a reverse takeover which will maintain Premier’s stock market listing. Premier will issue new shares to Chrysaor’s private equity owners which will repay Premier’s US$2.7 billion of gross debt facilities.1 Premier’s current letters of credit worth US$0.4 billion will also be refinanced as part of the deal. Premier’s recent deal to acquire BP’s equity in the Andrew Area and Shearwater fields2 has been terminated, as has its previous refinancing plan based on the BP deal.
This latest deal was opportunistic – Premier announced last month that it was in discussions with third parties, including Chrysaor, to see if it could agree a better deal than the refinancing plan it announced in August. Premier needed to conclude a deal due ahead of its debt maturity in May 2021.3 Chrysaor was able to move quickly given its private equity ownership and has agreed a deal, subject to the approval of Premier’s creditors and shareholders. Deal completion is expected during 1Q21.
The deal with Chrysaor will see Premier’s existing creditors receive a cash payment of US$1.23 billion, equivalent to 61 cents in the US$ owed to them, together with new shares in the combined company. A partial cash alternative to the new shares is being offered, up to a capped limit of US$175 million. If creditors take the cash equivalent up to the limit available, it would be equivalent to 75 cents in the US$. The creditors will have to choose between the upside that equity in the new combined entity could potentially provide them with, or an additional 14 cents in the US$ in cash paid on completion.
Assuming that all the partial cash alternative is taken, Premier’s stakeholders would own 16.08% of the new entity, with 10.63% of that held by existing creditors and 5.45% held by Premier’s existing equity holders. Chrysaor would own 83.92%, of which 39.02% would be held by Harbour Energy, Chrysaor’s main private equity financier. If none of the partial cash alternative is taken up the new entity will be owned 23.0% by Premier (with existing shareholders having 5.0%) and 77.0% by Chrysaor (with Harbour 38.5%).
Based on Premier’s immediate pre-merger announcement share price, its market cap. was US$184 million. With its shareholders set to own 5.45% of the new entity (assuming that the creditors take the maximum cash payment available), the newco needs to have a market cap. of at least US$3.38 billion for the deal to be at a premium to the pre-deal valuation. The newco will have net debt of US$3.2 billion on deal completion, which would give an enterprise value of $6.58 billion.
The newco will have 2P reserves of 717 million boe (at end-2019) and 1H20 combined production would have been 254 000 boe/d. If an EV of US$6.58 billion is achieved, it is equivalent to EV/2P US$9.2/boe and US$25 900 per flowing boe/d. The following table compares the newco’s metrics against Cairn Energy and Enquest, with UK production, and Aker BP and Lundin, Norwegian players.
It looks highly probable that the Chrysaor / Premier newco would achieve a higher enterprise value for Premier’s shareholders than pre-deal, based on the benchmarks.
It would seem to be a fair deal for Premier’s shareholders given the company was technically insolvent and the alternatives such as the refinancing associated with the BP asset acquisition, had it gone ahead, would also have been significantly dilutive to shareholders too. Premier’s share price closed 2% up on the day of the merger announcement reflecting a perceived value-neutral deal for equity holders.
A key upside for Chrysaor from the deal will be to utilise Premier’s US$4.1 billion of accumulated UK tax losses. At end-1H20 Chrysaor had deferred tax liabilities of US$1.5 billion on its balance sheet. Although Chrysaor received a tax credit of US$96 million in 1H20, it has paid an average US$223 million/yr in tax over the past two years. Offsetting the tax liabilities from the producing assets with Premier’s tax losses could create significant value for the newco and its investors – but at the expense of significantly reduced tax revenues from the North Sea for the UK. The government’s UKCS tax revenues in 2019-20 were US$1.6 billion4 with the Brent oil price averaging US$52.3/bbl.
Further savings will be made through eliminating G&A costs from the Chrysaor / Premier merged newco. Chrysaor’s G&A costs are currently US$58.4 million/yr based on its 1H20 accounts, with Premier’s G&A costs US$8.4 million/yr. Savings are also likely on net financing costs.5 Chrysaor’s net finance costs were US$307.0 million in FY 2019 with US$2.2 billion of net debt. Premier’s FY 2019 net finance cost was US$352.5 million with net debt of US$2.2 billion. The newco is expected to have net debt of US$3.2 billion on deal completion.
The US$2.7bn includes debt and currency and interest rate hedges. Premier’s gross debt at H1 2020 was US$2.1bn with net debt of US$2.0bn
Westwood Wildcat Corporate Report, June 2020
Westwood Wildcat Corporate Report, August 2020
UK Oil and Gas Authority
Finance expenses less finance income
Petrofac and Storegga partner on renewable energy
Petrofac and Storegga Geotechnolgies have joined forces to collaborate on potential business development and project initiatives in carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen and other low carbon projects.
To solidify the commitment, the companies today the signed a Memorandum of Understanding that builds new energy capability and capacity, representing a strategic step in Petrofac’s continued expansion into new and renewable energy.
With an initial focus on the UKCS and North West Europe, the MOU also includes scope for the parties to work together internationally.
John Pearson Petrofac Engineering & Production Services’ Chief Operating Officer, and Global Corporate Development Officer, commented “We are delighted to develop this strategic partnership with Storegga, who have a bold ambition to establish themselves as an operator of low carbon technology projects.”
“Like our existing offshore wind portfolio, CCS, hydrogen and other low carbon technologies require the complex engineering, project management and asset management capability we have developed in oil and gas.”
Nick Cooper, Chief Executive of Storegga Geotechnologies, added, “There is great value in Storegga working with companies such as Petrofac to bolster our engineering and project management capability. This will enable Storegga to accelerate the delivery of our CCS and hydrogen projects in support of the energy transition.”
Petrofac shares details of potential upcoming contracts
Petrofac has shared details of a number of contracts that will potentially be put out to tender over the next year.
Cheryl McRae, subcontract team lead for the energy services firm’s engineering and production services west division, said they have come up with a “rigorous” tender plan in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and collapse in oil and gas prices.
The potential contracts include work for a number of major players in the North Sea, including Shell, Neptune Energy and EnQuest.
Over the last year, Petrofac, which provides duty holder services for numerous North Sea operators, has tendered around £100 million worth of work.
However, bosses are keen to point out that, with uncertainty still rife in the sector, contracts could be subject to change.
Ms McRae said yesterday at an Oil and Gas UK share fair event: "In light of the current circumstances that we’re facing just now, that being the pandemic and the low oil price, we have re-looked at our tender plan."
"We’ve come up with a rigorous plan but it’s not set in stone. There’s every chance these contracts will change going forward and it all depends on the priorities within our organisation."
The contracts that Petrofac plans to tender over the next 12 months and the assets they relate to are:
Ithaca Energy – FPF-1
· Maintenance support for nucelonic services
· Telecom services
· VSAT services
Anasuria Operating Company – Anasuria FPSO
· ESD support
· Chemical management services
EnQuest – Kittiwake
· Structural analysis
· Pump management service
· Electrical support services
Petrogas Neo – GP3
· Quayside services / chartering
· Nitrogen gas equipment rental
· Rental of methanol bund and compressors
· Lube oil analysis and tank hire
· Rental services
· Provision of piping vibration and stress management analysis
· Provision of flow metering computer systems support
· Provision of sample analysis and offshore chemist services
· Provision of process control and instrumentation consultancy
· Annual pumps health check
· Helideck netting maintenance and certification
· Door maintenance
· Overhaul and service of diesel engines
· Firefighting equipment and maintenance
· Battery maintenance and testing
· Flexible hose assembly inspections and remedials
· UPS maintenance services
· Corrosion management services
ENI – Hewett
· Underwater services contract 2020-23
· SNS X Asset independent verification and recertification of lifting equipment services
· SNS X Asset provision of electrical and instrumentation services
ENI – Liverpool Bay ISP
· Ignition control
· Protection system
· Marine integrity propulsion system
· Structural integrity scopes
Multiple clients – Corporate, Master Services Agreement
· Piping bulks
E&C – Various Assets
· Manual valves
Neptune Energy – Cygnus Alpha
· Biocide injection package
· Oxygen scavenger injection package
Repsol Sinopec Resources UK – Montrose/Bleo Holm
· Shutdown/control valves
· Pig launcher/receiver
· Heat exchangers
· Circulation pumps
· Module fabrication
· Expansion vessels
Shell – Clipper
· Nitrogen injection package
Multiple clients – Corporate (industrial services)
· Coating – paint supply
· Insulation – material supply
· Blasting – material supply
· Passive fire protection – material supply
· Composite repair
· Scaffold – Access platforms
· Asbestos management
Multiple clients – Corporate
· Supply of stationary and office consumables
· Provision of occupational health and medical services
· External legal council services
TULLOW OIL PLC
TRADING STATEMENT AND OPERATIONAL UPDATE
29 JULY 2020 - Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) issues this statement to summarise recent operational activities and to provide trading guidance in respect of the financial half year to 30 June 2020. This is in advance of the Group's Half Year Results, which are scheduled for release on Wednesday 9 September 2020. The information contained herein has not been audited and may be subject to further review and amendment.
Rahul Dhir, Chief Executive Officer, Tullow Oil plc, commented today:
"Since becoming CEO on 1 July, I have been impressed by the quality of Tullow's people and the potential of our assets and I am confident that we can build Tullow into a competitive and successful business once again. Despite the challenging external environment in the first half of the year, Tullow has performed well; delivering production in line with forecast, agreeing the sale of the Ugandan assets and re-shaping the Group's structure and cost base. In the second half of 2020 our focus will remain on continuing to deliver safe and reliable production from West Africa, reducing debt and building a cost effective and efficient organisation that can compete in a low oil price environment."
The impact of COVID-19 has been managed safely across our business with no impact on our operated production.
Group working interest production in the first half of 2020 averaged 77,700 bopd in line with expectations; full year guidance has been narrowed to 71,000-78,000 bopd reflecting continued good performance across the portfolio.
In the first half of 2020, gross Jubilee production averaged 84,700 bopd (net: 30,000 bopd), gross TEN production averaged 50,900 bopd (net: 24,000 bopd) and net production from the non-operated portfolio was 23,700 bopd.
Ghana operational performance has been strong in the first half with uptime on both FPSOs in excess of 95 per cent.
Completion operations on the Ntomme-9 production well at TEN are ongoing; the well is due onstream in August.
The impact of COVID-19 on the Kenya work programme and fiscal framework has led the Joint Venture to call Force Majeure on its licences which will delay FID and impact the ongoing farm-down process. Constructive discussions are ongoing with Government regarding next steps.
In Suriname, the drilling of the Goliathberg-Voltzberg North prospect (GVN-1) in Block 47 is planned for the first quarter of 2021. A rig is expected to be contracted shortly for this Upper Cretaceous prospect.
Revenue for the first half of 2020 is expected to be c.$0.7 billion with a realised oil price of $52/bbl, including hedge receipts of $131 million.
At 30 June 2020, net debt is expected to be c.$3.0 billion and liquidity headroom and free cash are expected to be c.$0.5 billion; full year free cash flow is forecast to break even at the current forward curve.
Capital and decommissioning expenditure guidance for 2020 remains unchanged at c.$300 million (1H20: $192 million) and c.$65 million (1H20: $38 million) respectively.
As a result of lower near-term oil price forecasts, and a revision in the Group's long-term oil price assumption from $65/bbl to $60/bbl, the Group expects material impairment and exploration write-offs to be recorded at the half-year in the range of $1.4-1.7 billion (pre-tax).
At 28 July, 60 per cent of 2020 sales revenue hedged with a floor of $57/bbl, 44 per cent of 2021 sales revenue hedged with a floor of $51/bbl.
UGANDA TRANSACTION UPDATE
Sale of Ugandan assets for $500 million in cash on completion and $75 million in cash following FID, plus post first oil contingent payments, expected to complete before year-end.
Shareholder approval of the transaction confirmed at the General Meeting on 15 July with over 99 per cent of the 56 per cent votes cast in favour.
Transaction completion remains subject to the Government of Uganda and the Uganda Revenue Authority entering into a binding Tax Agreement that reflects the agreed tax principles and the Government of Uganda approving the transfer of Tullow's interests and Block 2 Operatorship to Total.
This transaction represents an important first step to raising in excess of $1 billion proceeds from portfolio management in what continues to be a challenging external environment for asset sales and farm downs.
Rahul Dhir joined Tullow as Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2020.
Dorothy Thompson will resume her role as Non-Executive Chair of the Board after a short transitional period.
Mike Walsh has been appointed as General Counsel & Director, Risk, Compliance & IS, effective 3 August 2020, reporting to the CEO. Mike joins Tullow from Delonex Energy Limited where he was General Counsel.
Group average working interest production
H1 2020 actual (bopd)
FY 2020 forecast (bopd)
Shares in Petrofac (LON:PFC) are currently trading at 170.3 but a key question for investors is how the economic uncertainty caused by Coronavirus will affect the price. One way of making that assessment is to examine where its strengths lie...
The market price in Petrofac shares has moved by 14.3% over the past three months. In volatile markets, many investors are keen to buy what they think are cheap stocks - but it's essential to recognise the difference between a genuine bargain and a value trap. Often, the quality of the stock makes all the difference.
The good news is that Petrofac scores well against some important financial and technical measures. In particular, it has strong exposure to two influential drivers of investment returns: high quality and a relatively cheap valuation.
Buying quality at a fair price
Good quality stocks are loved by the market because they're more likely to be solid, dependable businesses. Profitability is important, but so is the firm's financial strength. A track record of improving finances is essential.
One of the stand out quality metrics for Petrofac is that it passes 6 of the 9 financial tests in the Piotroski F-Score. The F-Score is a world-class accounting-based checklist for finding stocks with an improving financial health trend. A good F-Score suggests that the company has strong signs of quality.
While quality is important, no-one wants to overpay for a stock, so an appealing valuation is vital too. With a weaker economy, earnings forecasts are unclear right across the market. But there are some valuation measures that can help, and one of them is the Earnings Yield.
Earnings Yield compares a company's profit with its market valuation (worked out by dividing its operating profit by its enterprise value). It gives you a total value of the stock (including its cash and debt), which makes it easier to compare different stocks. As a percentage, the higher the Earnings Yield, the better value the share.
A rule of thumb for a reasonable Earnings Yield might be 5%, and the Earnings Yield for Petrofac is currently 15.0%.
In summary, good quality and relatively cheap valuations are pointers to those stocks that are some of the most appealing to contrarian value investors. It's among these shares that genuine mispricing can be found. Once the market recognises that these quality firms are on sale, those prices often rebound.
Now in its final stages, work continues to progress well at the Salalah LPG extraction project in Oman for OQ LPG (SFZ) LLC.
In numbers, this video shows the progress the Salalah team has made. Well done to everyone involved👏.
Find out more about the project: https://bit.ly/2E5Yev5
Watch the video
Result of Meeting
RNS Number : 1130T
Tullow Oil PLC
15 July 2020
TULLOW OIL PLC
15 JULY 2020 - Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that at its General Meeting held earlier today, the resolution set out in the Notice of General Meeting put to the General Meeting seeking approval for the proposed sale of its entire interests in Blocks 1, 1A, 2 and 3A in Uganda and the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline System to Total (the "Transaction"), as described in the circular to shareholders dated 18 June 2020 (the "Circular") was passed by the requisite majority. The resolution put to the General Meeting was voted on by way of a poll and the results are set out below.
The Transaction also remains subject to a number of other conditions, including customary government approvals and the execution of a binding tax agreement with the Government of Uganda and the Uganda Revenue Authority that reflects the agreed tax principles previously announced. Subject to the satisfaction of the conditions, the Transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2020.
(1) Proxy appointments which gave discretion to the Chair of the General Meeting have been included in the "For" total of the resolution.
(2) A "Vote Withheld" is not a vote in law and is not counted in the calculation of the proportion of votes "For" or "Against" the resolution, nor in the calculation of the proportion of "Percentage of ISC voted" for the resolution.
(3) The percentage of votes "For" and "Against" the resolution is expressed as a percentage of votes validly cast for the resolution.
(4) The number of shares in issue at 6.00 p.m. on 13 July 2020 (being the voting record date for the General Meeting) was 1,411,003,726 ordinary shares of 10 pence each (the "Ordinary Shares") and at that time, Tullow did not hold any Ordinary Shares in treasury. The proportion of "Percentage of ISC voted" for the resolution is the total of votes "For" and "Against" in respect of the resolution expressed as a percentage of the ISC as described in this note (4).
(5) In accordance with LR 9.6.2, a copy of the resolution passed at the meeting has been submitted to the FCA's National Storage Mechanism, and will shortly be available to view at https://data.fca.org.uk/#/nsm/nationalstoragemechanism. The full text of the resolution passed at the General Meeting can be found in the Notice of General Meeting forming part of the Circular, which is available for inspection at the National Storage Mechanism and also on the Company's website at http://www.tullowoil.com
Tullow Oil has announced the end of its Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) in Kenya, declaring the project to be a success.
The contract formally concluded on June 2 with just one cargo lifted. The pilot scheme involved five wells in the Amosing and Ngamia fields, in Blocks 13T and 10BB. Exports peaked at 2,000 barrels per day. Trucks moved crude by road from Turkana to Mombasa.
Kenyan crude was sold for the first time ever in mid-2019. A cargo of 240,000 barrels were lifted from the port August 26, 2019. The sale raised $13.4 million in revenues. The Celsius Riga tanker transported the crude to ChemChina.
While the EOPS scheme officially ran for two years, it was cut short. Trucking was suspended in the fourth quarter of 2019 as a result of difficult weather. At the time Tullow published its final results for the year, in March, the EOPS was still suspended.
The EOPS provided data, logistical and operational experience and training, Tullow said, which will help the project move towards full-field development.
Concrete demonstration of the impact of the EOPS came in upgrade works carried out on roads and bridges.
There were also socio-economic benefits of the work. The EOPS had given local companies an opportunity to participate in oil transportation. The work involved 30 trucks, six light vehicles and a bus. Employment went to 35 truck drivers, including a number of female drivers.
Tullow is working on plans to sell a stake in its Kenyan assets. The company had aimed to reach a final investment decision (FID) on the project by the end of 2020 but it is clear this is now extremely unlikely.
Tullow suspended work in Kenya in May, under a force majeure declaration.
The reserves in Turkana remain viable, Tullow said. The next steps include environment and social impact assessment (ESIA) work and project definition.
While coronavirus has had an impact on operations, Tullow has also found fault with some moves by the government. In particular, amendments to the tax law, approved in late April, moved the rate of VAT from zero for oil exploration equipment to 14%