Forland Shipping AS

Issue 04 2012

Setting the trend

Having spent much of the previous decade being a pioneer in the North Sea seismic industry at the helm of the first company in Norway to operate seismic vessels with her husband Mikkel R. Forland, Ellen Forland established her own shipping company in 1973.

Sailing under the Norwegian flag, Forland Shipping commanded respect from its early days thanks to its modern fleet and exemplary safety record.

Always priding herself on ensuring that the vessels operated by the company were among the very best in the world, Ellen Forland assumed control of her first vessel when Forland Shipping carried out the conversion of the MV ARA into the MV SEISMARINER for Seismograph Service Limited in January 1973.

In the decades that followed more vessels were acquired, a number of which were later sold on and continue to operate in other parts of the world. Today the company owns and operates some of the markets’ most advanced offshore support and seismic vessels. Designed for flexibility, specially adapted for use in the offshore industry and providing consistently strong performance, the company’s fleet can be found engaged in oil exploration, seismic surveying and subsea inspections.

The Forland vessel concept is based on multi-functionality. The concept is designed for the future and results in modern, specially adapted vessels for the offshore market. The first two vessels of this ST-design were the seismic vessel MV GEO CELTIC and the Construction/ DP-vessel MV FUGRO SALTIRE built for E Forland Shipowner at Bergen Group BMV yard.

Built in 1991 as a seismic vessel boasting a higher standard of accommodation than other vessels of its type, the MV SEISQUEST is the oldest member of the company’s fleet. Subsequently upgraded at the Mjellem & Karlsen yard in Bergen in 2001, the vessel has previously been operated on behalf of SSL/Western Geco, Veritas DGC and Fugro- Geoteam, with which it is currently on charter in Europe.

Built two years later, the MV SEISRANGER was also constructed as a seismic vessel and rebuilt in 2001 to become the state-of-the-art ROV, survey and construction vessel that it is today. The most recent addition to the fleet, the MV FUGRO SALTIRE, was built in 2008 and is operating under a long-term contract with Fugro Subsea Services Ltd.

Well versed in following its vessels’ charterers wherever they may be operating, Forland Shipping has vast experience of working in such diverse regions as Australia, Singapore, Brazil and the West coast of Africa. Wherever its vessels are present the company has carved out a reputation that has been built of a specific set of core qualities and values: “At the heart of everything it does, the company has always retained a focus on establishing long-term relationships with its charterers and on building vessels with only the highest quality materials and components,” states Arne Magnus Johnsen, chief executive officer of Forland Shipping. “When it comes to its vessels, every investment is made with the sole purpose of bringing value and benefits to both the company itself and of course the charterers.”

While its history is certainly something to be respected and revered, Forland Shipping is just as keen to promote the way in which it is constantly looking to the future. This forward thinking approach can be seen in the contract signed with Havyard Shipyard for the construction of a new Havyard 857 vessel. Measuring 110 metres long with accommodation space for 106 people, 1000 square metres of deck space and with a 150 tonne crane, the vessel is due to be delivered in August 2013.

“This new vessel really does encapsulate Forland Shipping’s passion for quality and its belief in the strength of establishing long-term chartering commitments and making long-term investments,” Arne enthuses. “The Havyard 857, in order to perform its tasks as a light construction, ROV survey vessel, will enter the market as one of the most sophisticated vessels of its kind and represents where much of the short-term focus lies for the company.

“Forland Shipping’s quality ship management capabilities, its industry-leading vessels and its commitment to the highest standards of health, safety and environmental care, are all important facets in helping to drive the business forward. With these working values operating in tandem, and by being able to respond to the challenges the oil and gas seismic industry presents on a regular basis with the right solutions, Forland Shipping’s mission is to always leave its clients satisfied with the work it carries out.”

As Arne goes on to explain, the philosophy of the company is to achieve what he calls ‘stable growth’: “Achieving the kind of growth Forland Shipping desires does not mean that it has to become the biggest company of its kind tomorrow. What we do instead is take a step-by-step approach, gradually building the company from within, while preparing it for the future. The next stage of development will come with the introduction of the Havyard 857, after which the next stage of investment can begin.

“Forland Shipping is dedicated to its sector of the market and wants to be a player for many years to come. Naturally as time passes the market will continue to evolve increasingly rapidly and that will influence the way the company adapts and changes to meet new demands and requirements. While it is not possible to accurately predict just how large its fleet will be come 2015 or 2020, what is certain is that, in the years to come, Forland Shipping will continue to strive to achieve type of sustained, stable growth that will allow it remain one of the elite names in the fields of offshore survey and light construction.”

Forland Shipping AS
Services: Offshore and seismic vessel operator

Forland Shipping AS