Petrofac sells North Sea assets for $292m

Petrofac has agreed to sell its 20 percent interest in the Greater Stella Area of the North Sea (Supplied)
Updated 24 August 2018

Petrofac sells North Sea assets for $292m

  • Petrofac has about 12,500 employees
  • Scales back on oil and gas production

LONDON: British oilfield services provider Petrofac has agreed to sell its 20 percent interest in the Greater Stella Area of the North Sea to oil and gas operator Ithaca Energy in a deal worth up to $292 million.
Petrofac, which designs, builds, operates and maintains oil and gas facilities, expanded into oil and gas production during the oil price boom earlier this decade.
But the strategy didn’t last and Petrofac has since been scaling back oil and gas production.
It announced the sale of its oil fields in Mexico last month after a warning last year that its integrated energy services (IES) division would have lower than expected profits.
“This disposal marks a further milestone in our journey back to a capital-light business ... (divestiture) marks the significant progress we are making on our stated strategy,” CEO Ayman Asfari said in a statement.
The proceeds from the sale of the North Sea assets, which also include a 24.8 percent interest in the FPF1 floating production facility, will be used to cut debt.
Petrofac expects to take a post-tax impairment charge of roughly $55 million from the sale.
Ithaca will pay roughly $145 million on completion of the deal, $120 million in non-contingent deferred consideration between 2020-2023 and a further $28 million of contingent consideration is payable depending on field performance, Petrofac said.
Reuters reported in May that Ithaca, owned by Israel-based Delek Group, would consider making an offer for the Petrofac holdings given its existing interest in the Greater Stella Area.


A Jordan startup delivers eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

Updated 05 December 2019

A Jordan startup delivers eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning

  • Products used by WashyWash are non-carcinogenic and environmentally neutral
  • Amman-based laundry service aims to relocate to a larger facility in mid-2020

AMMAN: A persistent sinus problem prompted a Jordanian entrepreneur to launch an eco-friendly dry-cleaning service that could help end the widespread use of a dangerous chemical.

“Dry cleaning” is somewhat of a misnomer because it is not really dry. It is true that no water is involved in the process, but the main cleaning agent is perchloroethylene (PERC), a chemical that experts consider likely to cause cancer, as well as brain and nervous system damage.

Kamel Almani, 33, knew little of these dangers when he began suffering from sinus irritation while working as regional sales director at Eon Aligner, a medical equipment startup he co-founded.

The problem would disappear when he went on vacation, so he assumed it was stress related.

However, when Mazen Darwish, a chemical engineer, revealed he wanted to start an eco-laundry and warned about toxic chemicals used in conventional dry cleaning, Almani had an epiphany.

“He began to tell me how PERC affects the respiratory system, and I suddenly realized that it was the suits I wore for work — and which I would get dry cleaned — that were the cause of my sinus problems,” said Almani, co-founder of Amman-based WashyWash.

“That was the eureka moment. We immediately wanted to launch the business.”

WashyWash began operations in early 2018 with five staff, including the three co-founders: Almani, Darwish and Kayed Qunibi. The business now has 19 employees and became cash flow-positive in July this year.

“We’re very happy to achieve that in under two years,” Almani said.

The service uses EcoClean products that are certified as toxin-free, are biodegradable and cause no air, water or soil pollution.

Customers place orders through an app built in-house by the company’s technology team.

WashyWash collects customers’ dirty clothes, and cleans, irons and returns them. Services range from the standard wash-and-fold to specialized dry cleaning for garments and cleaning of carpets, curtains, duvets and leather goods.

“For wet cleaning, we use environmentally friendly detergents that are biodegradable, so the wastewater doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals,” Almani said.

For dry cleaning, WashyWash uses a modified hydrocarbon manufactured by Germany’s Seitz, whose product is non-carcinogenic and environmentally neutral.

A specialized company collects the waste and disposes of it safely.

The company has big ambitions, planning to expand its domestic operations and go international. Its Amman site can process about 1,000 items daily, but WashyWash will relocate to larger premises in mid-2020, which should treble its capacity.

“We’ve built a front-end app, a back-end system and a driver app along with a full facility management system. We plan to franchise that and have received interest from many countries,” Almani said.

“People visiting Amman used our service, loved it, and wanted an opportunity to launch in their countries.”

WashyWash has received financial backing from angel investors and is targeting major European cities initially.

“An eco-friendly, on-demand dry-cleaning app isn’t available worldwide, so good markets might be London, Paris or Frankfurt,” Almani said.

 

• The Middle East Exchange is one of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Global Initiatives that was launched to reflect the vision of the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai in the field of humanitarian
and global development, to explore the possibility of changing the status of the Arab region. The initiative offers the press a series of articles on issues affecting Arab societies.