A NORTH-East subsea trenching company has landed the biggest contract in its 14-year history.
Darlington-based DeepOcean, formerly CTC Marine, has been awarded the work by international energy firm Statoil, which could be worth almost £300m. 
The announcement is a major boost for the firm which employs about 120 staff across its Coniscilffe Road headquarters and Teesport base.           Since integrating with the DeepOcean Group last spring the firm has strengthened its position as a major international specialist in digging trenches on the seabed for pipes and cables to be laid.                            The landmark contract with Statoil will run for five years starting in the first quarter of 2014 with options for another three years and covers subsea inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) services on all Statoil operated fields on the Norwegian Shelf, from southern part of the North Sea to the Barents Sea in the north.
It is worth £175m, which could rise to £293m if the deal is extended.
The contract includes delivery of a purpose built vessel for subsea IMR services as well as onshore project management and engineering services.
"This is a great day for DeepOcean," said Mads Bardsen, the company's general manager. "Ever since we were awarded the first IMR contract back in 2006, DeepOcean has been focusing on providing first class IMR services to Statoil and other key customers. Our customers place strict requirements on personnel, vessels and equipment, and in a market with strong competition from several contractors, we are pleased to learn that Statoil yet again has chosen us.
"Our goal is that our brand should be synonymous with well-planned and well-performed operations, executed with high focus on safety, efficiency and innovative engineering.
"This award confirms the above and that our commitment to quality, continuous focus on organisational development and value creation for our customers has been successful,"
The vessel designed for the job by DeepOcean for work in Arctic conditions will be built in Norway and delivered for operation early next year.
"The award is an important recognition of the high quality of services DeepOcean and our employees provide. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with Statoil," added Mr Bardsen.

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