Swiber receives more claims, petitions

A view of Swiber's shipyard in Singapore, on July 10, 2013.
A view of Swiber's shipyard in Singapore, on July 10, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Troubled oilfield services firm Swiber Holdings said that it had received approximately US$99 million ($133.4 million) worth of claims.

The company made the announcement in an SGX filing today (August 8), adding that it was seeking legal advice on the claims.

Late last month, the company had said it had received demands for claims of around US$50.5 million.

It also announced that it had filed petitions yesterday for injunctions against payments of bank guarantees to some companies.

 

The relevant court granted embattled company a breather in the form of an interim order today, instructing the banks to hold back from paying any bank guarantees until the next hearing date for the applications for injunctions, which is presently fixed on August 11.

Indian state-owned exploration company, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited had called on several bank guarantees for five projects, of which a Swiber subsidiary, Swiber Offshore Construction, was involved in.

Five bank guarantees which amount to approximately US$94.48 million, and two bank guarantees amounting to 644.2 million Indian rupees, were called upon, Swiber said in the SGX filing. One of these bank guarantees, valued at 307.5 million Indian rupees has been paid out by the bank, it added.

Indian engineering and construction conglomerate Punj Lloyd had also called on a US$1.475 million bank guarantee provided by two projects, which has been paid out.

Swiber Offshore Construction has written to both the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Punj Lloyd to notify that their calls on thebank guarantees were wrongfully made.

Swiber, which provides construction services for international oil and gas projects, stunned investors when it filed a petition last week to liquidate its operations after a US$200 million share sale to private equity firm AMTC fell through. The firm subsequently dropped the liquidation in favour of a plan to operate under judicial management, which would allow it to continue business under court supervision while it attempts to turn itself around.

Swiber's share trading has been suspended since July 27. Swiber's woes have raised questions about banks' loan exposure to oil and gas firms. DBS said it has a $700 million exposure to Swiber.

Last week, the company defaulted on its semi-annual payment for its $150 million 001 Trust Certificates.