Scope and Content

The records for the most part comprise correspondence files, which were created by the Shipping Department of the Head Office of John Swire & Sons, Ltd, London but include conference papers and publicity material.

Administrative / Biographical History

With more than a century's experience in deep-sea shipping, towage and salvage, John Swire and Son''s involvement in the offshore oil industry began in 1975 when Swire Pacific established a joint venture with Northern Offshore Limited, a UK-based offshore support company. Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO) was established that year as a wholly owned subsidiary of Swire Pacific Limited to hold Swire's interest in the Singapore newly registered joint venture, Swire Northern Offshore (Pte) Limited and, subsequently, to act as the holding company for the SPO Group. Initially, Northern Offshore was responsible for developing offshore support operations to the west of Suez while the joint venture, Swire Northern Offshore (Pte) Limited, was to develop similar operations to the east of Suez. An outport office was established soon afterwards in Dubai to support vessels working in the Middle East. In 1980, SPO acquired full control of the business and assets of the joint venture.

Today SPO supports a wide range of offshore activities, including seismic survey, exploration, drilling, pipe-lay, subsea construction, production and FPSO operations.

Headquartered in Singapore, SPO and its subsidiaries have regional offices in Angola, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, the Philippines, Texas, Trinidad & Tobago, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates, and operate vessels in every major oil exploration region outside of North America. The regional offices provide full commercial, operational and technical support to the vessels working within their region. Head Office provides high level technical, commercial, operational, marketing, financial, accounting, legal, insurance and IT support and governance to the business across the globe.

Swire Pacific Offshore is affiliated to Swire Oilfield Services (SOS), established in 1979. SOS is one of the largest suppliers of specialist offshore cargo carrying units to the global energy industry and is a leading supplier of modular systems, offshore aviation services, chemical handling and onshore services. The business has a significant global reach in major oil and gas regions, with operations in Europe, West Africa, North America, Australia, Brazil, India, Russia and Asia.

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