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The Company began operations in the ’50s. During the ’50s and ’60s it accumulated competencies in onshore pipelaying, plant construction and drilling, operating initially as a division of Eni and then on a stand-alone basis, becoming definitively autonomous in 1969.
Offshore operations commenced in the Mediterranean in the early '60s and expanded to the North Sea in 1972.
The Company started offering its services to customers outside the Eni group in the early ‘60s and progressively widened its customer base to include almost all the supermajors, majors, major nationals and independent oil & gas companies worldwide.
At the end of the ‘90s with the migration of the business towards deepwater and developing countries, Saipem has carried out an investment plan in order to adjust the capacity of its own naval assets to the ever challenging market conditions. The primary areas of investment include deepwater drilling, deep water field development, pipelay, leased floating production storage and offloading (fpso), and subsea robotics.
Saipem has led the trend in boosting local content by developing impressive facilities in West Africa and the FSU and in the Middle East by employing a large number of local workers with no equal in the industry. While developing the fleet and the local content, the Company started to reinforce its engineering & project management capabilities to cope with the other important market trend towards large integrated EPCI and EPC projects at first in the offshore activities and later on in the onshore activities.
Onshore this was achieved principally through a number of acquisitions, culminating in the acquisition of Bouygues Offshore in 2002.
This was the largest cross-border acquisition in Europe in the oil services sector.
In 2006 Saipem acquired Snamprogetti, one of the major engineering and construction companies active in the international market in the design and execution of large onshore projects for the production and treatment of hydrocarbons and natural gas monetisation.
The result has been the creation of an exceptional contractor with a strong bias towards oil & gas related activities in remote areas and deepwater, a leader in the provision of engineering, procurement, project management and construction services with distinctive capabilities in the design and the execution of large-scale offshore and onshore projects, also with high technological competences such as gas monetisation and heavy oil exploitation.
Saipem has recently carried out an important investment programme started in 2006 aimed at reinforcing and expanding its drilling and construction fleet and other assets required by projects to back up the local content and in particular state-of-the-art advanced assets designed to meet the challenges of the production and transportation of hydrocarbons in ultra deep waters and in frontier areas.