Offshore

All posts tagged Offshore

PRESS RELEASE – Marignane, 15 February 2021

International energy group Shell has selected leading US offshore helicopter operator PHI to operate four Airbus H160s to service a support contract in the Gulf of Mexico.

The contract marks the entry into the oil and gas market of the H160 with a wealth of design features promising new levels of safety, comfort and schedule reliability in offshore operations.

The three companies – Airbus, PHI and Shell – are cooperating in a unique partnership. In a pioneering move, Airbus will provide one H160 ahead of final deliveries to PHI and Shell for a year-long route-proving programme to enable the operator and the final customer to familiarize themselves with the type’s advanced features and mitigate the normal challenges around entry into service.

At PHI it will be based at Houma, Louisiana and join a large company fleet of H125s and H135s deployed in  emergency medical service throughout the United States, as well as two H145s operating for Shell on pipeline survey work in Louisiana, and two H145s flying the world’s longest harbour pilot shuttle in Mackay, Australia.

Airbus Helicopters Executive Vice President Global Business, Ben Bridge, said: “We greatly appreciate the innovative thinking of our customers in formulating this partnership around the H160 which will begin a new era of safety, reliability and environmental performance in the medium class of offshore operations.”

PHI Aviation Managing Director, Keith Mullett said: “We are proud to be playing a key role in the entry into service of the highly advanced H160 in the offshore sector and we look forward to bringing a step change in operating standards through the confidence building route-proving exercise agreed with our partners Airbus and Shell.”

Shell Aircraft Vice President, Tony Cramp said: “Shell welcomes the opportunity to embrace new aviation technology and introduce this highly advanced and efficient aircraft to safely service our vibrant and growing offshore business in the US Gulf of Mexico.”

Shell General Manager – Supply Chain Deepwater, Viet Van added: “The emissions reductions that the H160 provides help us continue to deliver crude and natural gas with the smallest carbon footprint of our global deepwater portfolio, and are another important step to meeting our goal of zero net emissions by 2050.”

With 68 patents, the H160 is the world’s most technologically advanced helicopter and features an unprecedented suite of pilot aids delivered through its Helionix avionics which substantially reduces crew workload and decreases the risk of pilot error.

They include the world’s first ground helipad assisted take-off procedure, a vortex ring state pre-alerting system and a recovery mode to automatically regain steady flight in difficult circumstances.

The H160 is powered by two of the latest Arrano engines from Safran Helicopter Engines and incorporates an embedded monitoring system and a redundancy of sensors, and can be maintained autonomously far from base. The design emphasises robust corrosion defence specifically envisaging offshore missions.

PRESS RELAESE – 23 September 2020

LCI, a leading helicopter lessor and the aviation division of the Libra Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) have agreed to establish and operate a joint venture helicopter leasing business.

The vehicle has launched with the initial acquisition of 19 next generation helicopters with a value of US$230 million. SMFL and LCI are co-investors in the partnership, with LCI also acting as manager.

The young, modern helicopters acquired by the joint venture will be used by operators across the globe on a range of missions including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), and transportation to offshore wind farms. With a strong lessee profile, long average lease tenor and full power by the hour maintenance coverage, the portfolio offers a robust profile for the investors.

Jaspal Jandu, Chief Financial Officer of LCI, says: “LCI is delighted to be launching this new leasing vehicle with SMFL. Our joint venture with this renowned partner highlights the opportunities available in the helicopter leasing marketplace, and demonstrates how these aircraft have now become a proven and attractive asset class.”

Shinichiro Watanabe, Managing Executive Officer of SMFL, says: “LCI’s experience, expertise and reputation makes them a natural business partner for SMFL, and we look forward to working with them and combining our respective financial strengths to jointly and professionally manage a successful and dynamic venture.”

George Logothetis, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Libra Group, added: “We are very pleased and proud that LCI has formed a joint venture with such a highly respected organisation. This partnership promises sustained and exciting growth for LCI’s rotary wing business, which has already proved highly resilient during the global pandemic.”

The new joint venture will enable SMFL and LCI to further expand the range and volume of their helicopter investments by leveraging their proven track record, knowledge and experience derived from SMFL’s aircraft and engine leasing companies, and LCI’s years of value creation in aviation helicopter and fixed wing leasing.

LCI’s fleet comprises approximately US$1 billion of assets in service, on order and under management, focused on the latest technology medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by leading helicopter OEMs including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.

These are in operation across four continents in multiple sectors including emergency medical services, offshore wind, search and rescue, maritime pilot transfer and oil-and-gas transportation. 

  • Honeywell Primus Epic Phase 8 software and EGPWS with offshore modes obtain EASA Certification
  • Latest standard delivers increased mission capabilities, enhanced situational awareness and reduce crew workload for safety beyond standards in all weather conditions with the introduction of synthetic vision, enhanced 2D Map, increased Navigation, wireless flight plan data loading and advanced collision avoidance for all commercial and government missions
  • The AW139 is the unmatched leader in its class with continued growth capability and outstanding market success and operational track record.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome, 17 July 2020

Leonardo announced today further enhancements for the AW139 intermediate twin engine market leader with the recently obtained EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certifications for the Honeywell Primus Epic integrated avionics Phase 8 software and the EGPWS (Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System) optional kit with offshore modes.

The Phase 8 software release marks the introduction of an advanced Synthetic Vision System (SVS) specifically tailored for helicopter applications, improved 2D maps and wireless data loading delivering even greater all-weather capabilities and mission effectiveness for all commercial and government missions.

This latest standard increases crew situational awareness and reduces workload for operations at night or in marginal weather. The advanced Synthetic Vision System assists with navigation and landing approaches when operating within challenging terrain, oil rigs, and other demanding scenarios, which is accomplished via 3D presentation of the external scenario, including surrounding terrain, obstacles, runways and helipads within the background of the Primary Flight Display. A user-friendly 2D Interactive Navigation (INAV) feature showing the helicopter position and flight plan on a map into the MultiFunctional Display (MFD) delivers unparalleled navigation system alignment and precision with the actual flight path taking into account environmental factors. Phase 8 has also wireless connectivity embedded, providing high speed data access for flight plans transfer and maintenance data gathering from the aircraft. Additionally, Custom Approach functionality provides the capability to design, set and fly an automated approach to any user-defined location, including oil rig helidecks.

The introduction of the new EGPWS version -036, which is also available for Phase 7, perfectly complements the latest software release and enhanced navigation capabilities for safer offshore operations. This more sophisticated HTAWS (Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System) introduces recommendations of CAA CAP 1519 for optimal use in offshore environments, and gives pilots more time margin and earlier notifications for warning of a potential collision. This will prove to be a key enabler for recognizing and responding to unsafe conditions.

Orders for nearly 1200 units in over 70 countries have been placed by more than 280 commercial, paramilitary, and military customers worldwide and over 1050 helicopters are in service with more than 2.8

million flight hours logged in operations to date. With more than 1000 kits certified to date and continued capability growth, the AW139 remains unmatched in its’ category as the world’s most important helicopter programme in the last 15 years. The AW139 has a proven track record of outstanding mission accomplishment in the harshest conditions.

PRESS RELEASE – 24 January 2020

Bristow Group Inc. and Era Group Inc. announced today that they entered into a definitive agreement to combine the two companies.

  • All-stock transaction creates financially stronger, publicly traded company with a significant presence in key geographic regions
  • Combined company will offer broader range of world-class, efficient aviation solutions through enhanced fleet size and diversity, providing better solutions for new and existing oil and gas customers and governmental agencies
  • Expected to achieve pro forma annual revenues of approximately $1.5 billion and run-rate adjusted EBITDA of approximately $240 million, including at least $35 million in annual cost synergies
  • The combined company will maintain a strong balance sheet with robust free cash flow to facilitate continued deleveraging and returns to shareholders

HOUSTON, January 23, 2020 – Bristow Group Inc. (“Bristow”) and Era Group Inc. (NYSE:ERA) (“Era”) announced today that they entered into a definitive agreement to combine the two companies in an all-stock transaction, creating a financially stronger company with enhanced size and diversification.

The combined company, which will be named Bristow, will strengthen its global leadership position with significant operations throughout the Americas, Nigeria, Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia for offshore aviation transportation and search and rescue solutions. The new organization will offer a broader range of world-class, efficient solutions through enhanced fleet size and diversity, continuing to invest in new technology and safety features to meet the evolving needs of new and existing oil and gas customers and governmental agencies. 

“We believe this merger will create substantial value for the stakeholders of both companies,” said Chris Bradshaw, President and CEO of Era. “The identified cost synergies are significant and, combined with the strong pro forma balance sheet and absence of capital commitments, support robust free cash flow generation. This merger achieves more efficient absorption of the significant fixed costs required to run an air carrier and better positions the combined company to manage industry challenges.” 

“Bristow and Era share complementary cultures built on an unwavering commitment to safety and quality through experienced, well-trained trained pilots, mechanics, engineers and support staff,” said L. Don Miller, President and CEO of Bristow. “Merging these two companies will further build on that culture to create an even stronger, more integrated industry leader.”

Highly Compelling Strategic RationaleEnhances Global Leadership with Significant Presence in Key Geographic Regions and End-Markets:

  • Significant operations throughout the Americas, Nigeria, Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia
  • Global leader in offshore oil and gas transportation, search and rescue and aircraft support services to government and civil organizations, with significant revenues and cash flow generated from government services contracts

Increases Fleet Size and Diversity:

  • Combined fleet of more than 300 of the industry’s most modern aircraft with the latest generation of technology and safety features
  • Creates the world’s largest operator of S92, AW189 and AW139 model helicopters
  • Combined fleet will be predominantly owned (>80%), with attractive lease rates on the balance of the fleet

Creates Financially Stronger Company: 

  • Expected to achieve pro forma annual revenues of approximately $1.5 billion and run-rate adjusted EBITDA of approximately $240 million
  • Substantial and highly achievable cost synergies with an annualized saving of at least $35 million through the elimination of redundant corporate expenses and the realization of enhanced operational efficiencies
  • Maintains a strong balance sheet (~2.5x net leverage), supported by a large combined cash balance (over $250 million expected at closing)
  • $112.5 million upsized ABL facility, with a robust free cash flow profile to facilitate continued deleveraging and returns to shareholders

Governance and Management 

Following completion of the transaction, the combined company will be headquartered in Houston, Texas. Chris Bradshaw, President and CEO of Era, will become President and CEO of the combined company. The senior management team will be named at a future date. 

The combined company will have a nine-member Board of Directors, including seven members from Bristow and two members from Era, including the CEO. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors will be appointed by Bristow.

Transaction Structure

The transaction will be structured as a reverse triangular merger whereby Era will issue shares to Bristow stockholders. Era (NYSE:ERA) shares will continue to trade on the NYSE.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both companies, Bristow shareholders would own 77% of the equity of the new company and Era shareholders would own 23%. 

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020, following receipt of required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions, including approval by Bristow’s and Era’s stockholders. The merger is intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization for U.S. federal income tax purposes. 

Share Repurchase Plan

Era also announced today that, in connection with entry into the merger agreement, its Board of Directors has authorized a special stock repurchase program that would allow for the purchase of up to $10 million of its common stock from time to time and subject to market conditions on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The special repurchase program will commence as soon as practicable and will end upon the mailing of the joint proxy statement/prospectus for the merger. Era also noted that it intends to provide the market with periodic updates of the results of the repurchase program. Era’s previously announced repurchase program will be suspended until the closing of the merger.

G-CKYP – DATA SHEET update

Thanks to Graeme LOVELL for these new images of the AgustaWestland AW139 G-CKYP operated from Bristow Helicopters Ltd … at Norwich, March 2019.

Leonardo: Wiking signs 30 million euro contract for two AW139 helicopters to enhance offshore transport capabilities in Northern Europe.

  • Latest order adds to a four unit AW139 fleet; deliveries expected between 2019 and 2020
  • The AW139 is the aircraft of choice for demanding overseas operations in Northern Europe and worldwide
  • Over 1100 AW139s have been ordered by more than 270 customers in over 70 nations to date

Paris, 19 June 2019 – Leonardo announced today the signing of a contract valued at 30 million euro for two AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters with Wiking Helikopter Service GmbH of Germany. The aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in 2019 and 2020, will be used to perform offshore transport operations in Northern Europe, further expanding the AW139 fleet of Wiking which already operates four helicopters in the region.

Wiking has been an offshore transport specialist in the North and Baltic Sea areas for over 43 years. The Company also performs sea pilots transfer, windmill engineer hoisting service and emergency medical service operations. This latest AW139 contract provides more evidence of the unrivalled mission capabilities, operational efficiency and reliability of the world’s most successful type in its category to carry out demanding missions overseas. The AW139 fleet augmentation programme will allow Wiking to meet the evolving requirements of its clients.

The AW139 has proven extremely popular in the region for offshore, search and rescue, passenger transport and law enforcement duties. The type set new standards in terms of flight and mission technology, cabin space and comfort, performance, safety and reliability as well as introducing advanced support, maintenance and training services. The AW139 is even exceeding the evolving Oil&Gas market’s stringent requirements with unique features including a 60+ minutes run dry capable main gear box and full or limited ice protection system as an option to fly in known icing conditions for true all weather operations. Over 1100 AW139s have been ordered by more than 270 customers in more than 70 nations to date for any kind of mission. The global fleet has amassed over 2.3 million flight hours and the 1000th aircraft will be delivered this year.

Atlanta, 05 March 2019 – Babcock Australasia, the aerospace and defence company, is celebrating its first year of Airbus H175 helicopter operations in Timor Leste after clocking up nearly 1400 flights providing offshore aviation services for their oil and gas customer.

The company, which operates two H175s on personnel transport, search and rescue, and medevac duties in the Timor Sea reports a 98% aircraft availability rate for the 12 months following entry into service in January last year.

Airbus worked with Babcock to train 27 pilots and engineers on the H175 prior to delivery and Babcock has since employed 19 Timorese support staff at the Dili base, including four local engineers who are training at Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane, France headquarters.

During 2018 Babcock’s Timor operation recorded 1,274 flight hours in 1,365 sectors and the company received highly positive feedback from passengers praising the H175’s comfort levels. The aircraft are operated in support of ConocoPhillips offshore operations in the region.

The H175 provides a smooth ride with lower cabin noise, large windows for increased visibility and enhanced emergency egress, comfortable seating, and cabin climate controls.

Already in service in the North Sea, Western Africa and Gulf of Mexico as well as Timor Leste, the H175 was specifically designed to be exceptionally safe and competitive in the oil and gas, and search and rescue sectors, with extremely powerful engines, up to 270 nautical miles radius of operation and the latest technology in avionics and automation.

Andrew Cridland, Managing Director Aviation Offshore for Babcock Australasia, said: “As the aviation company who introduced the H175 aircraft to the Southern Hemisphere, we are extremely pleased with the H175’s performance in this first year of operation. Our exceptional reliability statistics are a testament to the excellent work performed by our highly skilled engineers and the commitment by Airbus to deliver the necessary parts in a timely manner to Timor-Leste. The aircraft have been well received by our customer and the passengers we transport. As a super medium aircraft, the H175 has good economics and is clearly setting new standards in the offshore business.”

ConocPhillips Manager, Global Aviation Safety Assurance, James Adams said: “We have been very pleased with the performance, economics and reliability of the H175. The success of our Timor operation has been a combined effort of Babcock Offshore Services and the excellent collaboration from the Airbus Oil & Gas support team.”

A total of 33 H175s are in service worldwide, having recorded 43,000 flight hours.