The CEO of offshore operator Awilco Drilling has resigned, citing the ongoing dispute between the company and Keppel over two offshore rig cancellations.
“With the cancellation of the new Afilco Drilling rigs, I believe the prerequisites for my role have changed significantly,” said CEO Jens Berge. “The company is at a crossroads and I concluded that I would like to seize new opportunities. However, Awilco Drilling is a great company and I wish the company and its skilled employees the best of luck.
Awilco is in the midst of a complex dispute over the cancellation of two platforms ordered from Keppel in 2018-19. The $ 425 million semi-submarines were due for delivery in 2021 and 2022, but Awilco canceled the contract for the first unit last June, accusing Keppel of breach of contract. The company demanded that Keppel repay installments worth a total of $ 55 million, but Keppel refused, claiming that Aidilco had not made a payment of $ 32 million.
In December, Keppel raised the stake, also canceling the contract for the second platform. The shipyard has alleged that based on reports on Afilco’s finances, it did not believe the drilling company would be able to make its next installment payment of $ 42 million in March 2021. Keppel announced that ‘he canceled the construction contract for the second platform and initiated arbitration. procedure.
Awilco denied Keppel’s claim and claimed the contract for the second platform was still valid and in effect. The company didn’t have the cash on hand for the next installment at the end of Q3 2020, but it said it plans to fund the bill with a combination of new equity and debt.
In this context, the CEO of Awilco, Jens Berge, has chosen to leave the company.
“The board would like to thank Jens Berge for his contributions over the past two years as CEO of Awilco Drilling and understands his decision to be relieved of his post to pursue other opportunities,” said Sigurd Thorvildsen, President d’Awilco. “We wish Jens Berge all the best for the future.”
Eric Jacobs, legal director of Awilco’s core shareholder, Awilhelmsen AS, will assume the role of interim CEO of Awilco until a permanent successor is found.