* Q4 net loss $137 mln vs forecast profit $19 mln
* Shares down 1 pct
(Adds quote, detail, share)
OSLO Feb 17 Oslo-listed rig firm Songa Offshore
said its troubled rig development project Cat D
remained on track despite recent setbacks, as it reported
fourth-quarter results that lagged expectations on Monday.
The firm had to seek refinancing during the fourth quarter
in order to continue with its Cat D project, the development of
four tailor-made rigs for oil firm Statoil for working
at Norwegian offshore oil and gas fields.
The flagship project became more expensive than planned and
threatened to push its debts beyond sustainable levels.
"The company has during the quarter completed a
comprehensive refinancing to prepare for the delivery of the Cat
D building in 2014 and 2015," Chief Executive Bjoernar Iversen
said in a statement.
The firm reported a net loss of $137 million, against
expectations for a profit for $19 million according to the mean
average in a Reuters poll of analysts, compared with a loss of
$219 million at the same time a year ago.
Rig operators and other suppliers have suffered from
tightening capital spending from oil companies, which are trying
to boost margins and maintain dividends.
Songa, which operates five rigs all under long-term contract
with Statoil off Norway, said it expected the market off Norway
to remain tight, with increasing demand and limited arrivals of
Shares in Songa Offshore were down 1.14 percent at the
opening of the Oslo bourse, lagging a benchmark index
up 0.32 percent.
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, Editing by Terje Solsvik and Mark