Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch

This anonymous commentator is our insider in the world of offshore oil and gas operations. With decades in the business and a raft of contacts, this is the go-to column for the behind-the-scenes wheelings and dealings of the volatile offshore market.

COLUMN | Swire Pacific Offshore: What went wrong? [Offshore Accounts]

August has seen the Swire Group, one of the oldest British owned shipping companies, in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Swire Pacific’s affiliate Cathay Pacific Airways has found itself caught between thousands of protestors seeking to close Hong Kong airport, demanding that the government change its policies, and the Chinese authorities, demanding that the company fire any of its employees who supported the demonstrations.

COLUMN | Bourbon bites the bankruptcy bullet [Offshore Accounts]

Nobody likes to receive unexpected bills. Imagine the shock of Bourbon Corporation’s CEO, Chairman, Founder, and de facto controlling shareholder, Jacques de Chateauvieux, when he opened his mail last month and received a pile of letters of demand from the Chinese finance company ICBC Leasing. Mr de Chateauvieux was on the record that his company had been engaged in “amicable negotiations” to reschedule his company’s debts to ICBC in light of the offshore industry crisis. Now the pile of payment claims on his desk showed that the situation was clearly no longer “amicable.”

COLUMN | Bourbon and its management in the dock after suitcase of cash is found at Marseille airport [Offshore Accounts]

Losing your baggage after a long-haul flight is annoying and frustrating. Losing your suitcase when it contains over US$250,000 in hundred-dollar bills inside must be even more vexing. For Marc Cherqui, the former tax director of Bourbon, the French operator of over two hundred offshore support vessels, the recovery of his lost bag when he returned home to France from a business trip in Nigeria in October 2012 was only the beginning of his problems. The suitcase stuffed with cash was eventually re-united with its grateful owner at Marseille Airport.

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