COSL contracts for vessels from Chinese shipyards

By an OGJ correspondent

NICOSIA, Jan. 14 -- China Oilfield Services Ltd. (COSL) signed contracts valued at $80.96 million with four Chinese shipyards for the construction of 8 vessels for delivery by May 2004.

One is a seismic/geohazard survey vessel, potentially capable of a broad variety of subsea research operations ranging from seismic surveys to deepwater engineering for platforms or pipelines.

COSL said it would be the first Chinese-built vessel equipped with dynamic-positioning capabilities and with remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and other support for subsea operations, together with onboard facilities for testing subsea-to-onshore pipeline materials and construction.

COSL did not specify the purposes of the other seven units, which it described only as "multifunctional oil field support vessels."

The vessels will be built by Dalian New Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, Guangzhou Whampoa Shipbuilding Plant, Wuchang Shipyard, and Shandong Huanghai Shipbuilding.

The drilling service arm of China National Offshore Oil Corp. Ltd., China's third largest oil producer, COSL owns and operates a fleet of 12 drilling rigs, including 9 jack ups and 3 semisubmersibles.

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