Nautilus Minerals has signed a deal to provide wet testing support services for Oman-based United Engineering Services’ (UES) seafloor production equipment.
Canada-based Nautilus also signed an agreement for storing the equipment before integrating with UES’s production support vessel (PSV).
Under the agreement, the three seafloor production tools (SPTs) delivered from the Soil Machine Dynamics facility in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, will be tested this year.
Once delivered, the SPTs will undergo wet testing at Duqm Port in Oman and be stored at UES’s facilities in Duqm for preservation and maintenance.
They will later be integrated on the PSV, which is expected to occur in 2017.
Nautilus Minerals CEO Mike Johnston said: "It is very exciting to have the SPTs all fully assembled as we prepare for wet testing.
"We appreciate the ongoing support from our largest shareholder, MB Holding Company, who is assisting us with the wet testing and provision of storage facilities in Oman.
"We look forward to the next phase of development to wet test our equipment as we work towards commencing our seafloor operations in Q1 2018."
UES is a wholly owned subsidiary of MB, which holds around 27% of the company’s issued and outstanding shares.
Nautilus Minerals signed an agreement in December 2015 with China-based smelting company Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group for ores extracted from the Solwara 1 deposit in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea.