Argeo and Shearwater forges strategic alliance to transform subsea and ocean bottom seismic markets

Sep 27, 2023 | News

Asker and Bergen, 27 September 2023: – Argeo, a global leader in robotic and digital solutions for the ocean space, and Shearwater GeoServices Holding, a global provider of geophysical marine seismic acquisition and processing services, have entered a strategic alliance (“the Transaction”) for innovating and pioneering new technology and products across the subsea and marine seismic markets.

Argeo and Shearwater aim to jointly transform the subsea and ocean bottom node (OBN) seismic service sectors through the application of state-of-the-art patented technology and continuous operational excellence to accelerate efficiency gains across core markets.

Transaction highlights

  • Argeo has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to acquire the seismic vessel SW Bell (Ulstein SX124 X-BOW) from Sheerwater for USD 6 million in cash plus 20,123,625 shares in Argeo
  • The vessel (to be renamed) will be converted from a towed streamer seismic vessel to a full subsea Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) vessel
  • Argeo has received an indicative outline for bank loan financing of USD 12 million where use of proceeds is USD 10 million allocated to the purchase and conversion of the vessel and USD 2 million as a credit facility.
  • Argeo and Shearwater have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for a long-term Capacity Agreement (“the Capacity Agreement”) which will enable Shearwater to hire vessel capacity from Argeo for Shearwater’s OBN operations.
  • Shared ambition of jointly developing projects and clients within carbon capture, marine minerals and offshore renewables.
  • The Transaction is endorsed by the Board of Directors of both companies
  • Shearwater will upon completion of the Transaction appoint one board member to the board of Argeo

Trond Figenschou Crantz, the CEO of Argeo, comments; “We leverage our vessels and equipment to provide greenfield exploration, inspection and maintenance services and comprehensive ultra-deep-water surveys at a global scale. This alliance with Shearwater, combined with the previously announced expansion of our Hugin Superior fleet, ensures a substantial increase in capacity and our ability to drive future growth. We expect the Capacity Agreement with Shearwater to provide increased utilisation and open for further expansion into new markets.”

Irene Waage Basili, the CEO of Shearwater, says; “We are excited about teaming up with Argeo in this unique alliance between marine seismic and subsea to push the boundaries of the rapidly growing OBN market. Argeo is a strong and respected partner with unique technology and competences which will help accelerate the development of new OBN deployment vehicles and methods. The alliance has significant strategic potential, and we look forward to exploring synergies in our respective markets together with the experienced Argeo team in the coming years.”

Following the vessel acquisition, which is expected to be completed in October, Shearwater will nominate one board member to Argeo’s Board of Directors. The vessel will be converted to a IMR vessel optimised for Argeo’s AUV and subsea operations as well as being an efficient platform for supporting potential future Sheerwater OBN projects.

Argeo operates one of the world’s most advanced fleet of high-capacity Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), seamlessly integrated with Argeo Robotics’ patented electromagnetic Argeo LISTEN™ and Argeo WHISPER™ sensor systems. The solutions offer streamlined, efficient and environmentally friendly services to customers in the core oil & gas, marine minerals and renewables markets. The company use offshore vessels and equipment capable of operating at depths of up to 6,000 meters, complemented by the in-house cutting-edge digital data management product, Argeo SCOPE™.

Shearwater is a global, customer-focused and technology-driven provider of marine geophysical services with the world’s largest fleet of high-end seismic vessels and a portfolio of proprietary technologies and software that provide customers with a full-range of towed streamer and OBN data acquisition, processing and imaging.

A transformative strategic alliance

The strategic alliance and planned collaborative marketing will expand Argeo’s presence in the global offshore energy sector. It will open for new joint business opportunities for Argeo and Shearwater through shared clients and projects supported by a more comprehensive joint service and product portfolio.

By leveraging both companies’ position as a technology leader in their respective markets, the alliance aims to drive innovation across all relevant sectors and markets, including development of new robotic solutions for OBN seismic.

The collaboration also targets development of new integrated methods and service offerings for the growing CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage) market by including Argeo’s Superior AUV solutions, as well as providing unique and advanced products supported by frontier digital solutions with Argeo SCOPE™. Argeo and Shearwater may also jointly explore multi-client opportunities based on a holistic approach and new data products.

Trond Figenschou Crantz, the CEO of Argeo, comments; “We aim to deliver substantial economies of scale by sharing assets and vessel capacities throughout the value chain, thereby increasing utilisation and driving further market growth. Argeo will be able to include its AUV products and technologies onboard Shearwater’s vessels and Shearwater will have the benefit of hiring Argeo’s subsea vessels for their OBN operation.”

The capacity agreement

The LOI for the long-term Capacity Agreement has been signed as part of the MOA. It is expected that the Capacity Agreement, which is a condition precedent to the Transaction, will be finalised in September 2023. Under the Capacity Agreement, Argeo agrees to provide Vessels, crew and equipment to Shearwater or its affiliates from time to time and when available, for the purpose of conducting marine OBN seismic surveys, subject to the agreed terms.

Completion of the Transaction, including the vessel acquisition and Capacity Agreement, is subject to customary closing conditions.

For further information, please contact:

Argeo: Trond Crantz, CEO, +47 976 37 273
Shearwater: Andreas Hveding Aubert, CFO, +47 48014070

About Argeo
Argeo is an Offshore Service company with a mission to transform the ocean surveying and inspection industry by utilizing autonomous surface and underwater robotics solutions. Equipped with unique sensors and advanced digital imaging technology, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (“AUVs”) will significantly increase efficiency and imaging quality in addition to contribute to significant reduction in CO2 emissions from operations for the global industry in which the Company operates.

The Company’s highly accurate digital models and digital twin solutions are based on geophysical, hydrographic, and geological methods from shallow waters to the deepest oceans for the market segments Oil & Gas, Renewables, Marine Minerals and Offshore Installations. Argeo was established in 2017 and has offices in Asker (Oslo), Tromsø, Stockholm, Houston, and Singapore. The company is listed on The Euronext Growth in Oslo under the ticker: ARGEO.
Please visit www.argeo.no for more information.

About Shearwater GeoServices Holding AS
Shearwater GeoServices Holding AS is a global, customer-focused and technology-driven provider of marine geophysical services. The company has the world’s largest fleet of high-end seismic vessels and a portfolio of proprietary technologies and software that provide customers with a full-range of towed streamer and ocean bottom geophysical acquisition techniques, efficient surveys and high-quality data. Shearwater has an industry-leading cost position and a strong balance sheet. Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, Shearwater is owned by RASMUSSENGRUPPEN AS, Schlumberger and GC Rieber AS.
Please visit www.shearwatergeo.com for more information.

This information is considered inside information pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 the Norwegian Securities Trading Act. This stock exchange release was published by Trond Figenschou Crantz CEO, Argeo AS, on 27 September 2023 at 08:00 am CEST.

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