Wednesday, April 5, 2000

 

Canadian 88 Energy and Kerr-McGee team up for
Nova Scotia deepwater play

Canadian 88 Energy Corp. , Calgary, Alberta has entered into an agreementthat sees Kerr-McGee Corporation of Oklahoma City acquire a 50% participation interest in Canadian 88's four offshore Nova Scotia holdings.

Canadian 88 is one of the largest single landholders in the newly evolving deepwater Canadian East Coast exploration play. It holds four exploration licenses offshore Nova Scotia. Located approximately 100 miles southwest of the prolific Sable Island developments in waters 500 feet to 9,200 feet deep, the licenses cover over 1.5 million acres. Canadian 88 and Western Geophysical have shot a large deepwater 3-D seismic program (900 square miles) off the east coast of Canada. Initial mapping indicates a large turbidite fan play analogous to major discoveries offshore Angola and Brazil.

Kerr-McGee will pay U.S. $10.5 million (Cdn. $15.2 million)for its 50% stake in the holdings and will become operator. It will also , on behalf of the participants who remain contingently liable, replace Cdn. $9.4 million (US $6.5 million) of work commitment promissory notes previously filed by Canadian 88 with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board. Kerr-McGee will also assume U.S. $1.5 million (Cdn. $2.2 million) of future seismic processing costs related to the project.

"Kerr-McGee brings to the table the deepwater expertise needed to drill and develop this play while leaving us with a very significant ownership interest,'' said Canadian 88 President Joseph Pritchett III.


Heavyweight backing for bulk shipping e-site
A new Internet based on-line exchange claims to be "set to revolutionize the traditional marketplace where shipowners, shipbrokers and cargo owners conduct business."

LevelSeas.com, will offer a "life-of-the-voyage" solution for all seaborne wet and dry bulk commodity shipping. It will provide comprehensive freight management services encompassing market intelligence, online chartering, pre and post fixture activities and risk management tools, including freight derivatives.

LevelSeas.com has the backing of BP Amoco, Cargill, shipbroker Clarksons and Royal Dutch/Shell Group - investors who represent significant shipping volume and expertise - and will accelerate industry-wide adoption of the new marketplace.

Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited's VP of Shipping, Jan Kopernicki said: "We think this will act as a real catalyst for change in the industry ­ and change for the better. Nothing else offers a seamless service to take us from the start to the end of a voyage."

LevelSeas.com will provide greater market access, lower costs and greater efficiencies in today's shipping environment, delivering significant value to a broad community of large and small industry players, including intermediaries.

Gary Weston, Chairman of Clarksons shipbroking commented, "The advent of LevelSeas.com provides a real opportunity to create an electronic market place for the shipping industry. We believe LevelSeas.com will provide liquidity as well as a level playing field for all participants to trade on. This is an environment in which Clarksons can assist our clients in making the move to on-line trading."

LevelSeas.com will be uniquely positioned to cater to the freight needs of international businesses which rely on ocean transportation as a critical link in their global commodity supply chain.

According to consulting firm Booz·Allen Hamilton, the global bulk ocean transportation market has an annual turnover in excess of US$100 billion. This industry is ideally suited for an online marketplace that can bring together buyers and sellers of freight across the world and streamline the present substantial administrative burden.

 Said Tom Intrator, Vice-President, Ocean Transportation Division of Cargill, "LevelSeas.com will combine the latest internet technology together with deep shipping expertise to provide the central point for what is today a complex and dispersed global industry. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to fundamentally change the way we and the industry manage our freight business."

Cargill is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products with some 82,000 employees in 59 countries. Revenues for the fiscal year that ended May 31 1999 were US$46 billion.

Cargill's Ocean Transportation Business is headquartered in Geneva with offices in London, Amsterdam, New Jersey, Tokyo and Hong Kong. It is a global leading charterer of primarily dry bulk commodities, including grain and minerals. Cargill operates an extensive period timecharter fleet and has been in the vessel owning business for over 30 years.

LevelSeas.com says it is "committed to developing further strategic alliances and relationships with other businesses in the industry to ensure its position as the recognized industry standard."

"We are very excited about participating in LevelSeas.com, and believe it will become the premier player in the online bulk ocean transportation marketplace, providing substantial value for all industry participants," said Linda Adamany, CEO of BP Amoco Shipping.


Finnish bid for Masa-Yards reported as ended
Finnish business daily Kauppalehti says the Finnish group bidding for Kvaerner's Masa-Yards shipyards has decided to withdraw. The paper reports an unnamed member of the consortium as saying that the main reason for the withdrawal is that Carnival Corporation has decided not to participate.

Masa-Yards chief Martin Saarikangas, who heads the consortium, declined comment to comment on this morning's national radio news

Kauppalehti quoted Januz Szlanta, chief executive of Poland's Gdynia shipyard, as saying that Gdynia was not withdrawing its bid and the timetable for talks with Kvaerner was still open.


CP Ships to acquire CCAL
CP Ships has reached agreement with Thor Dahl Shipping AS of Norway to acquire Christensen Canadian African Line (CCAL).

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of April.

The acquisition includes the CCAL brand and three Astrakhan-class ships, designed to carry containers, breakbulk and roll-on/roll-off cargo.

CCAL, which will operate as part of the CP Ships subsidiary, Americana Ships, offers a 21-day multi-purpose service between Montreal and South Africa.

According to Frank Halliwell, CEO of Americana Ships: "The transaction represents a strengthening of our position in the South Africa trade following the termination of Lykes Lines' relationship with SafBank and MSC. Our intention is to improve the service of CCAL and also maintain the brand."

Erik Gloersen, CEO of Thor Dahl Shipping AS said the sale is part of Thor Dahl Shipping's strategy of focusing on owning and
operating pure container vessels. With the recent purchase of three 3,000 TEU container vessels, TDS now owns five container vessels and has a minor stake in a tanker. TDS, said Gloersen, is "set to expand its activities within container shipping."


Korean group to invest in Indonesian shipbuilding
A South Korean consortium headed by Samjoo Co Ltd reportedly plans to invest in the Sabang economic development area on Weh island off Indonesia's Aceh coast. The consortium will invest $14 million in projects involving shipbuilding, petrochemicals, oil refining and crude oil shipping and storage.

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