UPDATE 2-SBM Offshore in $470 mln settlement over Norway project

Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:24am EDT
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* Shares rise more than 20 percent

* Total Yme charges rise to nearly $1.4 bln

* Focus to return to core business after failed project (Recasts, adds background, details)

By Gilbert Kreijger

AMSTERDAM, March 12 (Reuters) - Dutch maritime services group SBM Offshore has settled a long and costly dispute over a Norwegian project, taking a new charge of $270 million and paving the way for a much-needed fundraising.

Shares in SBM surged over 20 percent to a 10-month high on Tuesday, after the firm settled one of two disputes over its failed move into so-called mobile offshore production units(MOPUs).

The company, whose main business is floating production, storage and offloading (FPSOs) in the oil and gas sector, said its total settlement costs with Canadian oil company Talisman Energy and its partners over the Norwegian Yme project were $470 million, including $200 million set aside in December.

The latest $270 million charge is largely to cover decommissioning the abandoned Norwegian Yme oil platform. Total provisions and costs related to the project now total nearly $1.4 billion over three years.

SBM has also had to write off millions in losses at the Deep Panuke natural gas platform off Canada's Nova Scotia, the future of which has yet to be settled, and has scrapped dividend payments for three years through 2013.   Continued...