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New offshore loading company to target U.S. Gulf

Norway's Navion Inc. and Skaugen PetroTrans (SPT) formed a U.S.-based offshore loading company to serve deepwater interests in the Gulf of Mexico. The company, American Shuttle Tankers LLC, will be headquartered in Houston and be a 50-50 joint venture between Navion and SPT. The company has designed a shuttle tanker that is sized to serve all U.S. Gulf Coast ports. A decision is expected soon from the Minerals Management Service that may sanction either FPSOs or shuttle tankers in the Gulf of Mexico. Navion Inc. is a subsidiary of Navion ASA in Stavanger. Navion ASA's Offshore Loading group is a leading offshore loading company that operates 24 shuttle tankers in the North Sea that serve more than 50 frame agreements with oil companies. SPT, a subsidiary of I. M. Skaugen ASA based in Oslo, specializes in ship-to-ship lightering operations and operates eight aframax tankers and four lightering support vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.