Saipem, an Italian oil company, is close to signing a joint venture with a big local partner in Nigeria as the oil contractor seeks to grow its presence in the Nigerian market.
“The group is finalising the creation of a joint venture with a very important Nigerian partner to help it develop its business in the country. The company is seeking to leverage its E&C (Engineering & Construction) competencies and its vessel fleet to enter into new markets or grow its presence in existing markets with leading local operators,” a report said.
Tumbling oil prices and rising costs have prompted oil majors worldwide to cut spending, prompting contract cancellations that have hurt contractors.
Saipem, which has been fined in a case relating to alleged corruption in Nigeria, already has a presence in the country, including the subsea development of the Egina Field with France’s Total.
This comes after it recently pulled off a similar deal in China with PetroChina, even as the oil contractor seeks access to new markets.
The deal will create a new company well placed to build a strong position in the growing Chinese oil service sector, with a specific focus on turnkey projects like LNG terminals, pipelines and storage units.
“In a few months the joint venture will have the license to operate,” the report explained.
Saipem, 43 per cent-owned by Eni, Italian oil major, has seen some €10 billion ($11 billion) wiped off its market value over the past two years after two profit warnings, a corruption investigation in Algeria and a worsening outlook.

Folashade Olubayo
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