Unbeatable service

Counting Statoil Hydro, BP and Exxon Mobil among its customers, as well as various operators throughout the Norwegian sector and northern North Sea, Simon Møkster Shipping delivers a range of services to the offshore industry. Its comprehensive operations are divided into four main areas: emergency services, anchor handling, platform supply and subsea. In addition, the company is the market leader in the response services sector, with several standby vessels in its fleet and a 25 per cent stake in this market on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Established by Captain Simon Møkster in 1968, his three children own the family run company at present. The firm’s first vessel was M/V Mokstein, paving the way for the Captain to purchase, operate and sell 107 vessels. The company entered the offshore business in 1982 by obtaining M/V Strilvakt, which was the most advanced standby/rescue vessel in operation at the time.

Having continued to grow with the offshore segment, today Møkster is a fully integrated offshore shipping company with strategically placed headquarters in the white sector of the Tjuholmen lighthouse, which is on Tjuholmen in Stavanger. It currently operates 20 vessels within platform supply, anchor handling, standby/rescue, subsea and Ro-Ro. Additionally, Møkster has a newbuilding programme of five vessels, two of which are on behalf of Brage Supplier KS.

One of the firm’s most noteworthy vessels is its M/V Atlantis Dweller, which is a state-of-the-art multi-purpose support vessel (MPSV) that was designed with possibilities for a very flexible subsea equipment outfit. It can be fitted with two work ROVs and one observation/medium class ROV, all in underdeck hangars with side doors. Control container and other project equipment can be stored in an underdeck cargo room in order to save space on the open deck area.

The ship, which was delivered earlier this year from Westcon Shipyard in Ølen, is just 70 metres long and contains berths for 70 people. Despite its moderate size, Atlantis Dweller boasts massive capabilities and is cost effective, having been designed by end-users for optimal subsea support. Besides its location and extensive fleet, the organisation’s strengths include its broad knowledge of a range of sectors, its long history and experience, and its strong focus on emergency services. By having several standby vessels, Møkster ensures that it is prepared for the worst, which sets it apart from many of its competitors.

Last year Møkster invested in two new Havyard 842 anchor handlers, the Stril Commander and Stril Challenger, which were delivered in January and June respectively. Constructed at Havyard Leirvik, the vessels feature a double drum anchor handling and towing winch, with a 350 tonne pull and 500 tonne brake hold. The ships are also equipped for supply, oil recovery operations, standby and rescue duties, fire fighting, hospital and first aid assistance, and communications.

The high specifications include DP2, FiFi 1, Oil Rec, Ice Class 1E and 280 survivor class to NMD rules – a combination that make it ideally equipped to work in the North Sea market. The new anchor handlers enable the company to seek new markets and customers, which will aid future growth.

An integral part of moving Møkster forward is the quality of the company’s crewmen and it boasts a fairly stable crew of about 400 Norwegians and 75 Faeroe Islanders. Understanding that the most successful ship owners are those who can provide the right training and education for their crew, Møkster is always working towards better procedures that minimise mistakes onboard. A source of pride within the organisation is its commitment to health and safety, and its zero injuries philosophy.

The quality system that it has built in accordance with the rules of ENO-ISO, where the QSHE regulations are integrated, is supported by the highly regarded data programme Unisea, which covers all relevant external demands, such as security and solidarity. As well as adhering to ISO 9001, the integrated system covers ISO 14001; IMO International Safety Management Code (ISM); regulations on systematic health, environment and safety work within companies; and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. Møkster also produces an annual QSHE programme with supportive action plans for continuous improvement.

With these measures in place, the shipping company’s newest vessels demonstrate a substantial reduction of noise pollution levels compared to the more traditional vessels. Indeed, Møkster considers environmental issues to be of the utmost importance, deciding long ago to build diesel electric PSVs (platform supply vessels), which use substantially less fuel than conventional vessels. It is also endeavouring to minimise the NOx emissions from the company’s engines by installing catalyst systems onboard the new ships, and accommodate new regulations and standards.

In terms of utilising its impressive fleet, Møkster has recently secured a contract for the PSV M/V Stril Mermaid to Marathon Petroleum Norway for five years (plus five one-year options), commencing on 1st July 2010. Delivered from the Norwegian yard SIMEK in 2010, the 4000-dwt Stril Mermaid will support the Alvheim field and is a new build of Havyard 832 CD RS design.

It is the first vessel to be delivered in accordance with Oil Recovery NOFO 2009 regulations and it’s understood that the NOFO equipment onboard the Stril Mermaid contributed to the strong rate paid by Marathon Norway. Møkster recognises that it is no mean feat to obtain such a long-term contract – potentially a ten-year contract – in today’s challenging market and the contract is in line with the company’s strategy of providing its clients with a diverse service, encompassing supply, rescue and oil recovery.

Another major contract that the company has confirmed is with BP Norway. For three years (including six month options), Simon Møkster will charter the supply vessel Stril Odin – a large, modern PSV of MT6000 MKII design, with rescue and oil recovery facilities. The BP charter will commence in August 2010.

Møkster has also recently announced the extension of term contracts for both Strilmøy and Stril Power with Exxon Mobil, which the company regards as an exceptionally important client. The term period for Stril Power is four years firm, including two optional two-year and one optional one-year terms. The term period for Strilmøy is five years firm including two two-year options.

Having enjoyed a successful 2009, securing a number of key contracts, Simon Møkster Shipping aims to maintain its position in the response market, and increase its presence in the PSV and anchor handling markets. The spate of new and renewed contracts is a good indication that the business has weathered the storm of the recession with success and is poised to take advantage of the opportunities presenting this year, and beyond.

Five vessels under construction

Recent high-spec additions to the fleet

Major contracts secured despite recession