SBM Offshore prioritising staff safety as global pandemic unfolds

The Liza Unity FPSO under construction in Singapore (SBM Offshore photo)

Dutch floater specialist SBM Offshore says the unprecedented times brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in a strong, united front from the company as it takes measures to ensure the health and safety of its workers.

“As we rise to the challenges and go about our work activities, we put health and safety first. SBMers are working hard with our clients, partners and suppliers to adjust to the circumstances. We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and take whatever action is required to continue the safe operations of our fleet, our projects and all our activities,” the company said in an update on its global response to COVID-19 released on Tuesday.

“Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, life is also changing at SBM Offshore. We must remain vigilant as the health and safety of everyone is our priority, whilst we work hard to keep the operations going. These are challenging times for companies and society as a whole,” CEO Bruno Chabas pointed out.

Staff and contractors

The company said as the global impact of the COVID-19 virus spreads its priority is the health and safety of staff, contractors and their families, while at the same time it ensures safe operations across all activities.

“A global task force continues to monitor the situation on a daily basis in our worldwide locations. We follow the advice from the relevant authorities and medical experts. We do so in close contact with our clients, partners and suppliers,” the company stated.

In its global office locations, including Guyana, staff are often working remotely. “With the support of our IT team, activities continue. Restrictions are in place regarding non-essential travel and international travel has almost come to a standstill. We are regularly updating our staff and are supporting them with advice for a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives,” the company said in the update.

Projects under construction

SBM Offshore is carrying out construction activities in many parts of the world.  Specifically, its suppliers’ construction yards in China reopened in February and are now close to planned capacity. In Singapore and Dubai, the yards have remained open. Additional measures and protocols have been put in place to ensure the health and well-being of staff and contractors at these yards, the company pointed out.

SBM Offshore’s first Fast4Ward® hull designated for the Liza Unity FPSO – ExxonMobil’s second offshore project in Guyana – arrived in Singapore in January for construction work.

Fleet operations

The company said safe operations of its fleet is of the essence. So far, the year-to-date uptime of the fleet is in line with our historical track record. Business continuity protocols have been activated at shore bases, as well as for offshore operations. Crew rotations are being optimized to adjust to the impact of international travel restrictions. Pre-screening protocols have been implemented prior to offshore embarkation. Contingency plans are in place to allow reassignment of experienced staff from onshore to offshore roles, to the extent necessary.

In Guyana the company is operating the 120,000 barrels per day Liza Destiny FPSO for ExxonMobil’s Liza Phase 1 Development project.

“SBM Offshore remains mobilized and is taking all necessary precautions to ensure safe operations and safeguard the health of our personnel onshore and offshore as part of efforts to limit the impact of the Coronavirus at all our working sites in Guyana,” Herve Laurioux, Guyana Country Manager recently told OilNOW.

Financial position

SBM Offshore says it has access to sufficient liquidity: both from its currently undrawn revolving credit facility, from committed project financing, as well as cash. The Company is on track to complete its earlier announced share repurchase program.


SBM Offshore’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders will take place on April 8, 2020.  However, as announced on its website on March 19, it will be by an adjusted procedure. The meeting will be broadcast live via its website. To safeguard the health of its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, the company said no shareholders or visitors can attend the meeting.

“It is uplifting to see that our sense of community at SBM is so strong. I am proud of how everyone has embraced our value of ‘care’. To all SBMers, our clients, suppliers, partners and all our stakeholders and their families, stay safe. We will come out stronger at the other end,” Mr. Chabas stated.


Exxon, contractors step up measures in Guyana to confront COVID-19 threat