Subsea 7 Makes Seaway Offer

Subsea 7 has made an offer to acquire the remaining 50% stake in Seaway Heavy Lifting from K&S Baltic Offshore.

Subsea 7 is offering an initial consideration of $279 million on completion and deferred consideration of up to $40 million to be paid by the end of first-quarter 2021 on the condition that certain performance targets are met. The considerations will be funded from Subsea 7’s existing cash resources.

“The terms of the offer are binding on Subsea 7 until July 1. During this period the Works Council representing the employees of Seaway Heavy Lifting in the Netherlands will be consulted in compliance with Dutch law,” Subsea 7 said.

Subsea 7 CEO Jean Cahuzac said, “Subsea 7’s strong market position in offshore energy services is complemented by Seaway Heavy Lifting’s expertise in three areas of offshore activity: renewables, heavy-lifting operations and decommissioning of oil and gas assets. We believe that this acquisition will allow us to strengthen Subsea 7’s position in businesses where we expect increased activity and opportunities for long-term growth.”

Seaway Heavy Lifting is a specialist offshore contractor and operates two heavy-lift vessels. It employs about 550 people and is based in the Netherlands.

Seaway Heavy Lifting is a joint venture in which Subsea 7 currently holds a 50% stake. If the offer to acquire the remaining 50% is accepted, Seaway Heavy Lifting would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Subsea 7.

Shell’s Exploration Boss To Step Down

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s head of exploration Ceri Powell will step down this month, capping seven years in the role marked by sharp cutbacks in the company’s search for new oil and gas reserves amid the industry’s deep downturn since mid-2014.

Powell, a geologist who joined Shell in 1990 and a vocal supporter for strengthening female involvement in the sector, will depart on Feb. 13 and become managing director of Brunei Shell Petroleum the following month, a Shell spokeswoman told Reuters Jan. 23.

Her departure is part of a broad reshuffle of senior positions following the completion of Shell’s $54 billion acquisition of BG Group in February 2016.

Those include the appointment of Jessica Uhl as CFO, who will replace Simon Henry in March as well as the appointment of Gerard Paulides, who oversaw the BG merger, as head of investor relations.

Powell will be replaced by current upstream strategy vice president Marc Gerrits, who started his career in Shell in 1986 as an exploration geologist in Australia.

ExxonMobil Names Environmentalist To Board

ExxonMobil Corp. named an environmentalist to its board of directors on Jan. 25.

The Irving, Texas-based company named Susan Avery, the former head of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a former professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, to its board, effective Feb. 1.

ExxonMobil has come under repeated attack in the past year from environmental groups who claim the company hid research on climate change from the public.

Chevron Appoints Vice Chairman

On Jan. 25 Chevron Corp. appointed Michael K. Wirth as the vice chairman. Wirth, currently the executive vice president of midstream and development, will join the board and take responsibility for policy, government and public affairs. The appointment becomes effective Feb. 1.

Wirth joined Chevron in 1982 as a design engineer. Before assuming his current role, Wirth was executive vice president of downstream and chemicals. Prior to that, he was president of global supply and trading, leading Chevron’s worldwide supply and trading operations and its aviation, marine and asphalt businesses. Prior to that, Wirth had been president of marketing for Chevron’s Asia/Middle East/Africa marketing business, based in Singapore.

He also served on the board of directors for Caltex Australia Ltd. and GS Caltex in South Korea.

US Senate Confirms Tillerson As Secretary Of State

The U.S. Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump’s secretary of state on Feb. 1, filling a key spot on the Republican’s national security team despite concerns about the former ExxonMobil Corp. CEO’s ties to Russia.

In the vote, 56 senators backed Tillerson, and 43 voted no. The tally was largely along party lines, with every Republican favoring Tillerson. Senate Democrats had tried, but failed, to delay the vote because of Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries and temporarily halting the entry of refugees. They said they wanted to ask Tillerson more questions about the issue after Trump signed the order on Jan. 27.

Senators had also expressed concerns over Tillerson’s ties to Russia after the executive spent years there working for the oil company. Some faulted him for failing to promise to recuse himself from matters related to ExxonMobil businesses for his entire term as secretary of state rather than only the one year required by law.

Republicans said they thought Tillerson would be a strong leader as the country’s top diplomat. They also said it was important to fill key slots on Trump's national security team quickly.

North Sea Energy CEO, CFO Resign

Toronto-based North Sea Energy Inc. reported on Jan. 20 that J. Craig Anderson, chairman and CEO, will leave the company, effective immediately, to pursue other interests.

CFO Petya Popova also will leave, effective immediately, to pursue other interests.

Anderson and Popova will assist NSE during the transition, the company said.

Anderson has been the CEO of NSE for the last 10 years since founding the company and was chairman for the past two and a half years. He oversaw the exploration, appraisal and development of the Jacky Field, the discovery of the Polly Field and recently the drilling of the Bagpuss well in the U.K. North Sea, NSE said.

Popova has been CFO for the past six and a half years.

Ian Lambert, who is a director of NSE and former CEO of Trade Winds Ventures, will become interim CEO and CFO, the company said.

As a result of the management changes, C. Brent Austin and Larry Leblanc, both company directors, also resigned, effective immediately.

NSE said it plans to continue the Bagpuss and Blofeld prospects and work together with its joint venture partners to attract farm-in partners.

—Staff & Reuters Reports