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SBM Offshore dismisses chief operating officer

AMSTERDAM, Nov 7 (Reuters) - SBM Offshore dismissed Chief Operating Officer Jean-Philippe Laures without giving a reason on Thursday, the latest in a series of setbacks for the Dutch maritime engineering group.

He has been replaced temporarily by Chief Executive Bruno Chabas, SBM Offshore said.

A spokeswoman for the company, whose main area of business is floating, production, storage and offloading platforms, or FPSOs, declined to say why Laures had been fired.

"The company can reassure the market it is not related to the operational performance of the projects in hand," SBM Offshore said in a statement.

SBM Offshore shares were down 3.3 percent at 1120 GMT.

Laures was not immediately available to comment.

The Dutch company has been hit by a steady stream of bad news, including disputes with customers, a management shake-up and bribery allegations.

In August, it swung to a first-half net loss of $42 million, due mainly to a one-time settlement related to Norwegian project Yme.

SBM Offshore has suffered losses of more than $1.4 billion since 2011 on the Yme platform, developed for oil firms Talisman Energy and Lotos off the Norwegian coast.

The project, which led to a management shake-up and prompted a recapitalisation, was decommissioned earlier this year under a settlement with Talisman.

In April, SBM Offshore said it might have violated anti-corruption laws and could be subject to a criminal investigation for alleged payments of bribes to officials in African countries.

Last year the company started investigating alleged payments involving sales via intermediaries between 2007 and 2011.