Dubai-based Topaz to supply vessels for Caspian Sea

Dubai-based shipper Topaz Energy and Marine has won a US$350 million contract to supply and operate vessels for Kazakhstan’s Tengizchevroil, a Chevron-led joint venture oil producer, in the Caspian Sea.

Topaz, which won the order as part of a consortium led by Dubai-based Blue Water Shipping, now has a backlog of $1.6 billion, the company said in a statement.

Topaz, a unit of Muscat-listed Renaissance Services, will commission the construction of 15 vessels, with work starting in the second quarter of 2018 for a minimum period of three years.

This is the second large contract awarded to Topaz this year, after BP chose Topaz to supply 14 offshore support vessels in Azerbaijan.

Tengizchevroil is a joint venture that explores, develops, produces and markets crude oil, LPG, dry gas and sulphur in Kazakhstan. The partners are Chevron, with a 50 per cent stake, state-owned Kazakhstan oil company KazMunaiGas, with a 20 per cent stake, ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Ventures, with a 25 per cent stake, and LukArco, part of Russia’s Lukoil, with a 5 per cent stake.

Profit at Topaz dropped by 63 per cent last year, following the oil price-driven industry slump.

The decline in activity in Topaz’s nascent offshore African business – mostly Nigeria and Angola – and pressure on regional ship rates more than offset a steadier performance for the company’s largest business segment in the Caspian Sea, where it has a number of contracts to supply ships and rigs to BP, said René Kofod-Olsen, the chief executive, in March

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