The global subsea market has undergone one of, if not the, most brutal downturn in recent history.

Aker Solutions agreed to buy oil services provider Reinertsen to build on its position as a maintenance and modifications supplier offshore Norway, the company said March 30.

The subsea area has been essential for Petrobras to achieve competitive gains over the past few years. The use of subsea equipment has helped to reduce presalt exploratory costs, contributing to Petrobras’ impressive output numbers.

ExxonMobil Corp. said March 9 it has reached an agreement to purchase a 25% indirect interest in the natural gas-rich Area 4 Block, offshore Mozambique, from Italian energy company Eni. ExxonMobil agreed to a cash price of about $2.8 billion.

British oilfield services company John Wood Group has agreed to buy Amec Foster Wheeler in a deal valuing its smaller rival at about 2.2 billion pounds (US$2.7 billion) and averting a planned 500 million pound (US$624 million) rights issue.

Cobalt International Energy Inc. continues getting knocked against the ropes by federal investigations, a $1.6 billion impairment, possible delisting from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and its troublesome divestment of its Angola assets.

With many traditional oil and gas contractors now diversifying into offshore renewables, the recent acquisition of Seaway Heavy Lifting will give buyer Subsea 7 a stronger foothold in this market, which it has targeted as a growing sector.

A subsea and offshore contractor affiliate of Ezra Holdings Ltd., a struggling Singaporean oilfield services firm, filed for U.S. bankruptcy as it ran short of cash due to a lingering downturn in the oil and gas industry.

State-run Petrobras’ plan to divest more than $15 billion in assets is reshaping the energy scene in Brazil, creating opportunities for more players to join the pursuit of not only oil, but gas.

Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president of technology, projects and drilling for Statoil ASA, believes in setting “impossible targets” that require “radical changes.”

Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise is making a push to keep Scotland at the top of the global subsea market, despite the challenges offered by competition from other regions around the world and the harsh realities of the severe industry downturn.

Chrysaor, which has just bought much of Shell’s U.K. North Sea assets for up to $3.8 billion, is in the market for more North Sea deals to expand its newly acquired position as one of the basin’s biggest independent producers.