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KNOP Closes Tanker Dropdown, Extends One Charter

KNOP Closes Tanker Dropdown, Extends One Charter
KNOT Offshore Partners LP (KNOP) has agreed to buy one tanker from Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS (KNOT), and to extend the charter of another tanker currently serving Repsol Sinopec Brasil.

KNOP’s wholly owned subsidiary, KNOT Shuttle Tankers AS, has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire Knutsen NYK Shuttle Tankers 16 AS, the company that owns the shuttle tanker, Ingrid Knutsen, from Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS (KNOT).

KNOP expects the deal to close within approximately 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions. The company will pay USD 115 million for the 2013-built Ingrid Knutsen which is operating in the North Sea under a ten-year time charter with Standard Marine Tønsberg AS, a Norwegian subsidiary of ExxonMobil. The charter will  expire in the first quarter of 2024, but Standard Marine has options to extend the charter for one three-year period and one two-year period.

In September 2015, KNOP entered into amended time charter with Repsol Sinopec Brasil for the Carmen Knutsen, extending the duration of the time charter for five years, while maintaining Repsol’s three one-year extension options. The amended time charter is effective until February 2023, during which period the average charter rate will be reduced by 6.2%.

“The acquisition of Ingrid Knutsen, together with the extension of the Carmen Knutsen time charter, are very positive developments for the Partnership, increasing the average fixed employment of the fleet from 5 years to 5.8 years and growing the Partnership’s fleet to ten vessels,” John Costain, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of KNOP (the Partnership), said.

“We have now grown the IPO fleet of four vessels by six additional vessels on long-term charters with major oil companies. The growth of the Partnership’s fleet to ten vessels has occurred in less than ten quarters and has led to a growth in the common unitholders’ distribution of 36%. The Partnership still has the option to acquire the Raquel Knutsen from KNOT, and will have the option to acquire four additional shuttle tankers from KNOT currently under construction following acceptance by the respective charterer of each such vessel.”

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