Viking Moorings, a provider of total mooring solutions to the offshore oil and gas industry, today announced the continued expansion of its global presence through an exclusive international agency agreement with Seaweld Engineering of Ghana.

The partnership will see Viking Moorings have a strategic, operational presence along the entire coast of West Africa from Senegal to Congo, with a particular focus on offshore mooring operations in the oil rich Gulf of Guinea. The result for West African operators will be reduced transportation costs, a fully resourced and highly skilled local mooring solution, and access to Viking Mooring’s entire portfolio of mooring equipment.

Furthermore, the partnership with Seaweld is already seeing a number of important developments, including the establishment of Seaweld Viking Global Link Nigeria as a separate trading entity in Nigeria.

In December 2010, Viking Moorings conducted the first offshore mooring operation under the new agreement, providing equipment and supervising the installation of a single taut leg pre-laid mooring system on behalf of Kosmos Energy for the drilling unit ‘Atwood Hunter’ at the Teak prospect, offshore Ghana. The mooring system has been designed to allow the rig to skid 400 meters and was connected to the drilling rig in late December. All mooring equipment was mobilised from Seaweld’s Takoradi base with onshore logistics and equipment management provided by Seaweld.

“Today’s partnership with Seaweld will ensure that Viking Moorings is the pre-eminent provider of total mooring solutions throughout West Africa and specifically for areas of high exploration and development activity , such as the Gulf of Guinea”, said Duncan Cuthill, UK country manager from Viking Moorings.

“With African operators and rig contractors opening up production in ever deeper waters and their continued need to manage costs and move exploration and drilling rigs quickly and cost effectively, we will ensure that Viking Moorings is the ideal strategic partner, providing a responsive, safe and total mooring solution for West Africa.”

Alfred Fafali Adagbedu, chief executive officer of Seaweld Engineering, continued: “We are delighted to be partnering with a global industry leader, such as Viking Moorings. Our local knowledge and highly skilled personnel, combined with Viking’s industry reach, experience and broad-based equipment inventory, is the perfect match.”

The following territories will be covered by the agreement: Benin, Cameroon, Congo (excluding Cabinda), Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

The relationship between Viking Moorings and Seaweld began in 2008 when the two companies cooperated in supporting Tullow Oil plc during a deepwater exploration programme, offshore Ghana.

Today, 400 tonnes of mooring equipment is available in Seaweld’s facility in Takoradi, Ghana, including a complete modular taut leg pre-lay mooring system suitable for water depths ranging from 500m to 1,600m. In addition to the renting of mooring equipment, Seaweld will also act as agents for the sale of mooring equipment components, slings and wire rope, including non-rotating wire rope of up to 175mm diameter.

West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea are one of the world’s most significant oil and gas producing areas with significant offshore exploration activities. According to AfriDev Capital Partners, more than US$20bn in development will occur in the Gulf of Guinea over the next decade with a significant amount occurring in deep waters offshore.

Established in 1979, Seaweld Engineering provides a flexible and well-resourced inspection, repair and maintenance service to the oil, gas and petrochemical industries. The company has over 20 years of experience in the fast developing oil and gas production fields of West Africa.Kosmos Energy is a privately held international oil exploration and production company with a focus in West Africa. Kosmos led the discovery of Ghana’s Jubilee oil field in 2007, one of the largest oil discoveries worldwide and the biggest find offshore West Africa during the last decade.