Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) plans to raise about NOK1.7bn ($280m) through equity issue placement to support its plans for fleet expansion.

The company will issue equity of 19 million shares and will also initiate a dividend programme from next year.

PGS also plans to build two fifth-generation Ramform vessels at a cost of $250m each, with options for two more.

The company is in discussions with several yards and expects to enter into a final contract in early 2011.

Delivery of the first vessel is expected in 2013, with the second in 2014.