Seamec chases Swiber for $16.9m in unpaid bills

Vol 19, PW 26 (08 Sep 16) Exploration & Production

Hal Offshore-promoted Seamec is the latest in a line of creditors to chase near-bankrupt EPC contractor Swiber for unpaid bills.

On August 22, Seamec president corporate affairs SN Mohanty wrote to the BSE telling it that Seamec has filed a case against Swiber Offshore Construction in a Singapore court and a parallel case against Swiber Offshore India in the Bombay High Court. Seamec claims it is owed Rs26cr ($3.9m) by Swiber Offshore Construction and Rs89cr ($13m) by Swiber Offshore India for the use of vessels Seamec-II and Seamec-III over the last working season (2015) on three ONGC contracts offshore Mumbai which Swiber has yet to complete: the C-26 pipeline project; the Daman field development; and the Pipeline Replacement Project-IV (PRP-IV).

At its hearing on August 19, 2016 the Bombay High Court ordered ONGC to refrain from making payment to Swiber Offshore India without court permission. A further hearing was originally scheduled for August 25 but this report learns ONGC has asked for more time to resolve matters with Swiber and the next hearing was pushed back to September 1 and then to September 8.

When asked if he feels there is a chance of recovering the money from Swiber, a source close to Seamec said: "Swiber isn't in a good financial position. I doubt it will pay."