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    Oceaneering announces JV with Smit

    News // April 21, 2000
    Oceaneering International has announced that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Smit International to provide services to the telecommunicationsmarket for the installation, repair, and maintenance of short-haul fibre-optic submarine cable systems.

    The joint venture company is to be called Smit-Oceaneering Cable Systems and will be headquartered in Houston, Texas.

    Initial fixed asset investment in the venture is about $20 million. This will include a dedicated telecommunications cable installation vessel, the Ocean Hercules, outfitted with a cable repair and burial remotely operated vehicle, a cable plow, and a burial assessment plow system.

    The 82m dynamically positioned vessel will have a sheltered cable deck with cable storage and handling equipment for the deployment of 2,000 tons of submarine telecommunication cable.

    It is intended that this vessel spread will be first used to perform route clearance and shore landing work for the South America Crossing (SAC), a job that is scheduled to commence in late April.

    John Huff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Oceaneering, stated, "I am extremely excited about the opportunities this joint venture creates for Smit and Oceaneering. Our alliance capitalises on Oceaneering's many years of experience in underwatertechnologies and matches perfectly with Smit's 150 plus years in the business of worldwide ship operations. The joint venture will tap into the resources of both parent Companies to provide the most cost-effective solutions for our Customers."

    Nico W G Buis, CEO and President of Smit International, remarked, "There is a lot of potential in this market and we are confident that our experience in maritime installation services will give us a leading edge in these activities. We consider Oceaneering, with its outstanding reputation in submarine cable installation, an excellent partner in this business. The two companies have a long-standing working relationship in the maritime service industry and we expect the joint venture to come together quickly and smoothly."

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