A step ahead
“In general, the oil business is looking particularly good at this moment in time,” states Petter Tomren, chief executive officer of Norshore. “With the oil price back up to what the industry considers to be a sound level, the opportunities being presented to companies like Norshore have seen a very noticeable increase since we last spoke in 2010.”
Established in 2007, Norshore is a drilling contractor based in Bergen, Norway. Operating with a business philosophy of focusing on its clients needs while providing innovative solutions, it supports global oil and gas production by providing cost-effective services from its environmentally friendly, multi-purpose drilling vessels.
For Norshore, the increase in market activity previously mentioned is best represented in the form of the letter of intent it has from one of the world’s leading oil companies for the leasing of its new MT 6022XL design ‘Riserless Drilling Vessel’, the Norshore Atlantic: “This global contract, which will be officially signed in August 2011, will see the vessel taken around the world and marks an important milestone for Norshore as it shows that the company’s concept design has been accepted and approved by one of the major players in the industry,” Petter continues.
Built at Batamec (BMC) in Indonesia, the Norshore Atlantic has been developed to perform light well intervention work, riserless well completion and subsea construction tasks in both shallow and deep water. Built to the highest specifications, the Norshore Atlantic is suitably equipped to work in any environment. With the company leasing the vessel holding assets in regions including Brazil, Europe and Asia, Norshore fully expects its creation to move around a fair bit in the decades to come.
“The appeal of the Norshore Atlantic really comes down to two main features,” explains Petter. “One of these is its drilling capability and the fact that, despite being a low cost vessel, it can carry out top hole drilling without any complications, which of course provides a very welcome cost saving to the oil company involved. Another unique selling point of the vessel is its navigational positioning capabilities that eliminate the need for anchor handlers. Again this reduces the costs involved and gives the Norshore Atlantic an even greater degree of flexibility.
“With the Norshore Atlantic about to go into service, the company is now in the process of ordering its second vessel, which will follow many of the same specifications. If everything goes according to plan this new addition will be ready for use in the early months of 2014 and will be one of a total of five purpose built vesselsthat will make up the Norshore fleet. With the concept design accepted by, and welcomed into, the industry the company is now in an even more solid position to secure financial backing and construction capacity to built these vessels. By the time this fleet is complete it is expected that it will have gone a long way towards helping establish the company as a serious player in its field.”
As activity levels continue to rise some of Norshore’s rivals within its field have suddenly turned their heads to the developments it is making to capitalise on the growth of the market. However, as Petter highlights, one of the company’s strengths is that it has quite a significant lead over its competitors: “The biggest advantage Norshore has is that it has about a two year lead on the rest of the field in terms of technological expertise and know-how. That is not to say competition is an unwelcome thing, it most certainly isn’t, after all competition within a niche sector provides solid proof that there is money out there to be made. Ultimately competition makes everybody strive to improve and the results of this benefit all parties involved.”
With the future looking bright for Norshore the attention of the company now turns to bringing in the man power needed to operate its fleet of vessels, then capitalising on the new capabilities such assets provide: “Roughly 100 people will be required for each vessel, depending on where it is in service and thus far Norshore has found it fairly easy to attract qualified people who are attracted to the idea of coming on board and being involved with a new concept, backed up by a agreement with a major oil company.
“In preparation for a floatation on the stock market in 2012, Norshore, together with its motivated workforce, will now work to leverage the position it has in the market to expand in size and scope. What has to be remembered at all times though is that the people the company secures remain the most important aspect of Norshore’s current and future plans, because they provide the solution to achieving long-lasting success.”
Services: Offshore drilling and well intervention