Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Kvaerner sells more Norwegian yards
Continuing its exit from shipbuilding, the Kværner Group today announced that it had entered an agreement to sell its Floro Shipyard in Norway to a Norwegian investor group including John Kleven, Harvest Elektro, Hareid Elektriske, for a total consideration of NOK 240 million.

That's a shade over $30 million and Kværner said "the transaction will produce an accounting loss ... but within the scope of the provision made in the first quarter of 1999."

Those words are beginning to sound repetitive. On December 23, 1999 Kværner announced a a preliminary agreement for the sale of the Mandal Shipyard in Norway to Umoe AS. That deal, too, "will produce an accounting loss to Kvaerner, but within the provision made in the first quarter of [1999]."

The Mandal Shipyard has been specializing in the construction of vessels, utilizing composite materials, for the defense market. The yard has typically employed some 300 people.

Also on December 23, Kværner inked a final agreement for the sale of another Norwegian yard, Leirvik , to Havyard AS for a total consideration of NOK 92 million.(around $11.6 million).

The proceeds are subject to adjustments, dependent upon the completion result of a new building contract to be delivered in February 2000. The transaction, which is subject to Havyard Board approval, is , again, "estimated to produce a loss to Kvaerner, but within the scope of provision made in the first quarter of [1999].

Wah Kwong shifts vessels to from Liberia to Hong Kong register
Today's South China Morning Post reports thatWah Kwong Shipping Holdings registered 12 vessels with a total of 300,000 dwt on the Hong Kong shipping register last year.

Deputy chairman and president George Chao Sze-kwong said eight of the
vessels had recently been transferred from the Liberian register.

Chao said Wah Kwong, a Hong Kong-based company, had registered its
vessels in the SAR to show its support for the Government's initiatives to
make the quality register a success.

Since April, the Hong Kong register has grown to 8.36 million gross
registered tonnes, a rise of two million gross registered tonnes.

Eight months ago, the Government introduced a package of measures,
which included a substantial reduction in the cost involved of registration and simplified procedures to make the register more user friendly and competitive.

And, from January 28, owners of Hong Kong-registered ships will pay lower dues when their ships call at mainland Chinese ports , says the South China Moprning Post.


Exxon Mobil in Egyptian deepwater move
Exxon Mobil Corporation's Egyptian affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Egypt, Ltd. has acquired from Shell Egypt Deepwater B.V. a 25 percent interest in the Egypt NORTHEAST MEDITERRANEAN (NEMED) Block. Shell retains a 75 percent interest in the block.

The block covers approximately 10 million acres and is located in water depths ranging from 2,600 to nearly 9,800 feet (800 to nearly 3,000 meters). It
encompasses the majority of the deepwater Nile Delta area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. To put its size into perspective, the block is about one- half
of the size of the entire U.S. Gulf of Mexico deepwater area.

David I. McEvoy, president of EEPEL, said, "We are very pleased to have this opportunity to re-enter the Egyptian upstream. The size of the block and
the deepwater operating environment present some geotechnical and development challenges, but we are confident that they will be met by the combined technical, managerial and financial strengths of ExxonMobil and Shell.''

The acquisition of this interest is another significant addition to ExxonMobil's substantial portfolio of deepwater acreage. During 1999, ExxonMobil's
deepwater acreage additions totaled 60 million acres. ExxonMobil now has interests in more than 800 deepwater blocks around the world covering
approximately 137 million acres.

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