An attractive option

Vestland Offshore was founded in 2008 by a group of people and companies that were already heavily involved in the offshore shipping industry. The company’s first new-build ship was the seismic vessel ‘Ocean Europe’, which was delivered in 2008, and is now operating long-term with GeoRXt/Petrobras in Brazil.

Since the purchase of the Ocean Europe, the seismic vessel fleet has been expanded and now includes:

  • MV ‘Ocean Pearl’ – operating long-term with RXT/Shell offshore Ireland
  • MV ‘Malene Østervold’ – supporting the ‘Ocean Pearl’ as a source vessel
  • MV ‘Bergen Surveyor’ – operating long-term with CGG in the Gulf of Mexico
  • MV ‘Reflect Resolution’ – lay up in Singapore, open for engagement
  • MV ‘Oceanic Champion’ – operating long-term with CGG, solely Flag Management
  • MV ‘Venturer’ – operating long-term with CGG, solely Flag Management

In more recent times, Vestland Offshore has moved its focus vessels (PSVs) with the creation of Vestland PSV AS, and has developed the competence and additional capacity to be a serious player within this offshore segment.

Its PSV fleet features large, high-end ships built in Norway of Vik Sandvik and Havyard designs, that include a 1000 sq meter deck area, feature ‘clean design’ notation, diesel electric propulsion and oil recovery. These vessels bring advantages because a large proportion of the existing 290 PSVs with more than 900m2 deck area (256 built after 2000) are not built for the North Sea nor Brazil and do not have ‘clean design’.

Vestland’s PSV fleet now includes the MV ‘Solvik Supplier’ (operating long-term with Talisman at UK side in North Sea) and MV ‘Vestland Mistral’ (operating one year + three x two months with Statoil from Oct 2012). Three new vessels are also being added to this fleet – the MV ‘Vestland Mira’ was delivered from Havyard at the end of October 2012, the MV ‘Vestland Cetus’ is to be delivered from Fjellstrand Yard at the end of 2012 and the MV ‘Vestland Insula’ is to be delivered from Hellesøy Yard in mid-January 2013.

Per Vidar Hille, managing director of Vestland Offshore, noted that both the Insula and Cetus have already been committed to contracts: “We charter all our vessels out, we are solely a ‘maritime provider’,” he said. “There is a five year BB with Golden Energy for the ‘Vestland Insula’, which will commence at delivery of the vessel around the end of January 2013. In addition, there is a three-year TC plus options for ‘Vestland Cetus’ commencing spring 2013.” The company is already looking for crew to man these vessels, with the roles advertised on its website:

The technical and commercial management of Vestland Offshore’s fleet is undertaken by a subsidiary called Vestland Management AS, which was established with a strong technical team as a fully integrated part of the Group. It has already established an excellent HSEQ track record and formed strong relationships with oil companies.

Its activities include technical and commercial ship management for Vestland’s two PSVs, five seismic research vessels and three new buildings – third party ship management brings economy of scale and scope with low commercial risk. Vestland is keen to ensure that the division has a strong focus on quality and to this end it is working on ISO 9001 and 14001, both of which will be in place by the end of January 2013.

Although PSVs have been the ukmajor focus for Vestland Offshore over the past two years, the company is not moving away from the seismic side as Per noted: “During this period of PSV development, the seismic market has been pending for us, partly due to capacity, partly due to limited growth the past years,” he explained. “But we really want to keep our position in this segment as well, and will aim to do more projects against the seismic market through the relationships built up over several years with clients such as RXT, CGG and PGS.”

The Group also has an eye on growing its subsea capabilities. “We have not been active in the offshore subsea market in the past, except from having a couple of seismic vessels doing seismic OBC (ocean bottom cable) operations,” added Per. “But we understand that offshore subsea is an interesting market where several of the major players in the offshore industry are undertaking new investments these days. We would very much like to investigate this segment, but it is still on the drawing board at the moment.”

With new-build vessels due for imminent delivery, Vestland Offshore has a lot to concentrate on in the coming months. “We are very focused on managing the growth we expect from our new PSVs over the short-term,” concluded Per. “But we also have an overall ambition to grow our fleet to eight to 12 vessels and that is something we continue to work towards.”

Fleet of PSV and seismic vessels
New ships on order
Branch office opened in Brazil