Bristow signs new offshore contract amidst Chapter 11 proceedings


Credit - Airbus Helicopters

Amidst the process of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Bristow has secured a new five-year contract to fly workers to and from BP’s offshore oil rigs in the North Sea.

The contract commenced on 13 May 2019 and sees Bristow fly daily flights from bases in Aberdeen and Sumburgh using existing Sikorsky S92s. The operator will also be supporting the S92 flights with fixed-wing flight support provided by Eastern Airways.

Bristow filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on 11 May. The operator will be using the proceedings from the restructuring to strengthen its balance sheet and achieve a more-sustainable debt profile.

Matt Rhodes, Bristow’s director UK & Turkmenistan oil and gas, said: “We recognize BP plc has placed its trust and confidence in Bristow and we are committed to maintaining the highest safety standards every day and at all times, while delivering an efficient and best-in-class solution to help BP achieve their business objectives.”

“This award further builds on Bristow’s success in the region, adding to two additional long-term contracts recently secured operating from our Aberdeen hub.”

This is the first publicly announced oil and gas contract that Bristow Group has secured in 2019. The last offshore new contract the company announced was a three-year contract extension with Perenco UK to fly five AW139s on Northern Sea operations in June last year.

Bristow was initially looking to diversify its fleet away from oil and gas with the acquisition of Columbia Helicopters – which operates a fleet of Chinooks and Vertol 107s on heavy lift and firefighting missions – but the deal was delayed and eventually fell through shortly before the company entered Chapter 11.

When Helicopter Investor contacted Bristow for comment, it confirmed that the company is operating business as usual throughout the proceedings.

“No operations have been impacted by the restructuring process for Bristow Group; it is business as usual from an operations perspective. As such, we are continuing to work with our global clients on ensuring they have safe and reliable helicopter transport and Search and Rescue services, including competing for new work.”