Mørenot Offshore

Deflecting competition

Mørenot Offshore is located at the centre of the North Sea oil activities. The company forms part of a much larger group, Mørenot Holding, which established itself in the development of equipment for the fishing industry more than 60 years ago.

From its supply to the fisheries, the business moved later into fish farming equipment and oceanic seismology. In the early 1990s the focus offshore was operated as part of the trawl equipment department. Throughout that decade, the business established links with Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and their building of the Ramform vessels. The following growth within the seismic market led to establishing the offshore department in 2007, before becoming its own company, Mørenot Offshore AS, in January 2012.

“The marine seismic industry is not that large. There are around ten to 12 companies that are major players in the sector and most of them are our customers. Traditionally we have focused a lot on marine hardware, shackles, hooks, chain and wires. Since 1995 we have been a manufacturer of Plexus rope made from Dyneema® fibres. Such ropes are an important part of our business within the seismic industry, used for main tow ropes, separation ropes, and handling ropes,” says Hans Jorgen Hjelle, sales and marketing manager.

Since its establishment Mørenot Offshore has been involved in product development supported by its dedication to understanding customer requirements to create tailor-made towing solutions that improve their day-to-day operations. Hans explains: “In 2008 we started the development of a new deflector technology. This has recently been very successful and we see a very bright future for this technology.”

Mørenot Offshore began working on the development of its technology, through its association with Injector Trawldoor, a Danish developer of trawl doors. He elaborates: “We saw the technology that the company possessed and implemented in their equipment for the trawl-fisheries. We noticed an opportunity to use similar technology in the seismic industry.

“To make a long story short, Injector Trawldoors went bankrupt in 2010, and we acquired all rights for know-how, IP and designs. We also re-hired the key R&D personnel and continued the development of the deflector technology within our company.”

Deflectors are towed behind vessels for use in seismic surveys. In these studies sea acoustic sources are mounted in or close to a vessel, and they send direct signals toward the sea floor. Receivers positioned in seismic cables being towed behind the vessel accept reflections of the signals. These cables are spread out to provide measurements of the geological conditions over an area with a certain width. As the use of the seismic vessel can be expensive it is advantageous to make the width of the tow as large as possible to cover a greater area in one pass. The technology developed by Mørenot Offshore supports the spread of the seismic cables transversally. The development has ensured that the deflectors can pull equipment to a transversal position to the moving direction of the vessel. The deflector is constructed with foils that provide a lifting force to achieve the transversal movement.

“We have always had a strong belief in the technology and can see that it has great potential, and our customers are confirming this. The technology has a high-efficiency and massive adaptability compared to other solutions that are available on the market. As a result it is possible to speed up and increase the size of the operations. That’s up to the customer to decide how they want to use our products, but there is very good feedback on what we have developed,” Hans continues.

Working towards its aim of providing a total solution package to the seismic industry, in August 2013 Mørenot Offshore acquired shares in Geopol Seismic Buoy Systems and became main shareholder. Hans adds: “Geopol produces and delivers a range of equipment including seismic buoys, tail buoys, front floats, and geo buoys with complementary electronics. Some of the equipment is fairly new into the market and supports our line of marine hardware and ropes, which are well established and recognised by all the seismic companies.

“The acquisition of Geopol was completed during August. Prior to this we have been workingin co-operation with this company in exhibitions like EAGE in London. When the opportunity arose we saw the benefits of incorporating the company into our own business. This acquisition fits our market strategy as complementary products to our already established product range.”

Looking towards business growth Hans says: “At this time we have very good relations with all the companies in the industry. The main companies are located in Norway, France, the US, Dubai, Russia and China. We have a strong name that is known offshore and we are recognised as a company that is delivering quality, and tailor-made products for the seismic industry. The development of products has continuously improved throughout the last 20 years to have a better performance and better quality of lifetime. We always aim for good quality.”

Concluding on the objectives as the business moves forward Hans emphasises: “Of course this year we have been focusing on deflectors and that will be one of our main focuses for next year, as well as further positioning the GeoPol product portefolio.

“We have invested a lot of time, money and smartness in our deflectors and buoys, in order to meet the competition of the competing products. We believe that our products make a difference for the end user. And most importantly, the feedback from the end users confirms this.”

Mørenot Offshore
Services: Supplying equipment to the marine seismic industry