UPDATE 4-SBM Offshore takes $629 mln charge on troubled project

Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:48pm EST
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* No dividend in 2012 or 2013

* Net loss of $100 mln seen in 2012

* Shares surge 17 pct

* Total provisions for Yme rise to $1.1 bln

By Anthony Deutsch and Gilbert Kreijger

AMSTERDAM, Dec 20 (Reuters) - SBM Offshore, the Dutch maritime services group, will take charges totalling $629 million, mostly to write down a troubled Norwegian oil platform project, and will also issue new shares worth up to 20 percent of its capital.

SBM Offshore has been struggling since last year with the Yme platform, developed for oil firms Talisman Energy and Lotos off the Norwegian coast. A share or rights issue was expected by analysts.

The Yme project is in limbo, having been evacuated over safety concerns last summer, and Talisman, the operator, has no indication when production will ever start. Following numerous delays, it is more than a year and half behind schedule.

SBM Offshore shares, which have been under pressure, surged as much as 17 percent as investors were relieved by prospects of an end to the costly dispute.   Continued...