(EnergyAsia, September 1, Tuesday) — Ezra Holdings Limited, the Singapore-based support and marine services provider for the offshore oil and gas industry, said it has signed a vessel operating agreement (VOA) that will power its future returns and growth without any major capital outlay.

As part of the agreement, Ezra said it will manage and operate four new anchor, handling, towing and supply (AHTS) vessels for an unnamed offshore specialist fund in return for a half-share of the profit earned, after deducting direct operating expenses from the charter revenue.

The vessels are still under construction, with the first AHTS slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2010. The vessels provide basic offshore oil and gas support services industry that are deployed throughout the oil field life cycle.

Ezra’s managing director, Lionel Lee, said: “This latest deal sets us in line with our strategy to expand our capabilities and extract value from our existing expertise in offshore fleet management. This is a powerful endorsement of our edge in the sector and we intend to grow this into a viable and highly profitable business for the group.

“We have already established a strong earnings track record since our IPO in August 2003 and our next lap of growth will be driven by expanding our services revenue with minimal capital expenditure and moving into the sub-sea segment. These activities are also expected to boost returns to shareholders.”

Since its public listing in August 2003, Ezra has grown its recurrent net profit by nearly 50% per year from US$10.5 million in FY2004 to US$49.9 million in FY2008. It recently reported nearly US$50 million in net profit from operations in the current nine-month period in FY2009, while group turnover rose by 58% year-on-year to US$236 million. 

Ezra offers transport and support services through its offshore support division, which manages and operates a young fleet of anchor handling, towing & supply vessels, anchor handling tugs and fast crew utility boats.

The construction and production arm, under approximately 48%-owned EOC Limited, offers offshore transport, installation, construction and floating production services for offshore oil and gas production. It manages two heavy lift accommodation crane barges, a pipelay vessel and a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Ezra’s marine services division provides marine and offshore support engineering and training services, with logistics and fabrication engineering services offered out of Vietnam through HCM Logistics. The group has the design and engineering capabilities to undertake subsea installations. It is also able to perform inspection, maintenance and repair work for FPSO vessels as well as offshore installations.

Ezra’s deepwater subsea division offers installation of subsea equipment, umbilicals, risers, flowlines, subsea inspection, maintenance and repair works, well intervention, well stimulation, hydraulic workover and coil tubing services.

The company is preparing to tap into new growth areas in deep waters and the underinvested offshore oil and gas segment.