UPDATE 1-Acergy chief sees good times in high-tech offshore

* Acergy CEO sees Gulf rebound in 6 months to a year

* Says size and technology key to deepwater success

* Merger with Subsea 7 on track for Q4/Q1 completion

(Writes through, recasts with CEO comments)

By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO, Sept 1 (BestGrowthStock) – The head of offshore contractor
Acergy (ACY.OL: ) said large deepwater players with advanced
technology will thrive as market turbulence begins to subside
from the blowout of BP’s (BP.L: ) Macondo well in the Gulf of
Mexico.

“The company with the best assets, especially with
technology, will succeed,” Chief Executive Jean Cahuzac said at
an oil seminar on Wednesday.

He said he expected project delays of six to 12 months in
the Gulf of Mexico, after which activity there will pick up
rapidly.

“There will be a catch-up,” he said, predicting business
would be “even stronger than before.”

He said Acergy’s planned merger with fellow offshore
engineering and construction specialist Subsea 7 (SUB.OL: ) would
give it the size and technology to see off competitors in the
post-Macondo business environment.

“We can handle projects more efficiently,” he said of the
merged company with its “high-end, diversified fleet” of 42
service vessels.

He said he expected the merger to be complete by the end of
2010 or early 2011, bringing synergies of at least $100 million
a year.

In an interview, he added: “Consolidation is very good for
the industry because we need stronger, more reliable companies
to serve the oil companies at lower cost.”

He said deepwater reserves remained a “significant and
growing” part of the oil industry’s future and added Acergy was
positioning itself for an increased order backlog with solid
margins.

“The short-term fundamentals of the market are very strong,”
he said. “We continue to see strong tendering activity
worldwide.”

He made a qualified exception for the North Sea, where
margins have come under pressure on short-term projects, as in
the Gulf.

Asked which global areas were most promising, he noted there
were “dozens of projects, in Africa, Australia, in Brazil,”
adding: “We definitely see momentum on the large projects and we
expect more large projects to be awarded before the end of the
year or the beginning of 2011. The future will tell who will win
them.”
(Editing by David Holmes)

UPDATE 1-Acergy chief sees good times in high-tech offshore