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 Norwegian offshore fleet

The Norwegian offshore fleet is the world’s second largest and its most modern. The shipping companies participate in all phases of petroleum activities: from initial seismic surveys to production and finally decommissioning of non-producing fields. The shipping companies are tightly integrated with small coastal communities and are crucial for employment and value creation in Norway´s regions. The offshore shipping companies are becoming an increasingly important segment of Norway´s maritime industry. Combined, they control the world´s most advanced offshore fleet, consisting of some 500 ships, of which around 60 per cent sail under the Norwegian flag.

The fleet has been significantly globalised in recent years, with more than half of operating revenues now derived from beyond the Norwegian Continental Shelf; in Asia, in Latin America and in Africa. This is a trend that will only continue. In the real world, this for example means, that one in four offshore vessels in Brazil are controlled by Norwegian shipping companies. Through their proactive focus on developing expertise and technology, the Norwegian offshore shipowners are spearheading the development of the entire Nowegian maritime industry.

They are a foundation for the growth of maritime Norway and contribute to significant value creation and employment along the country´s coast. In conjunction with shipyards, equipment manufacturers, naval architects and knowledge providers, the Norwegian offshore shipping companies constitute an integrated and dynamic industrial cluster. They account for 80 per cent of all orders with Norwegian shipyards and employ some 6,500 Norwegian seafarers. A full 58 Norwegian controlled offshore vessels are currently on the order books of Norwegian shipyards. Most of these are for delivery in 2013.

The combination of shipping companies with knowledge of new needs and an effective industrial cluster is the main reason for the maritime industry´s present standing. The shipping companies and their owners, through their constant search for better and more efficient solutions, are the drivers of the industry. The seafarers are key transmitters of experience and expertise from sea to shore and between actors onshore. The Norwegian maritime cluster has a breadth which makes it almost complete within the knowledge-intensive areas, including shipyards, equipment suppliers and maritime services. Very intense domestic competition makes the individual actors competitive and powerful on a global scale. At the same time, this maritime cluster has established close and effective cooperation in those areas where joint initiatives yield shared benefits.

The offshore shipping companies generate large positive regional knock-on effects. The industry´s value creation makes up more than one quarter of total business value creation in the entire county of Møre & Romsdal. In some municipalities, such as Ulstein, Herøy and Haram, the offshore maritime cluster accounts for more than 60 per cent of value creation. In addition to this, knock-on benefits in the shape of jobs, tax revenues and subcontractors are generated in many of the communities surrounding the maritime centres.

In 2011, Norway´s maritime industry created value to the tune of NOK 150 billion. Of this, the offshore shipping companies accounted for nearly NOK 30 billion, or a fifth of the industry´s total. This is a large sum. To put it into perspective, the total value creation of the entire seafood industry in Norway, i.e. fishing, aquaculture and fish processing, amounted to NOK 32 billion in 2011. In other words, the Norwegian offshore shipping companies are wealth creators on a par with the entire seafood industry. The Norwegian offshore shipping companies employ around 12,500 people. Since 2004 alone, employment in the shipping companies has risen by 70 percent. Turnover and value creation have also risen strongly.

In 2004, total revenues were NOK 18 billion. By 2011, they had increased to NOK 65 billion. With clear expectations of vigorous growth in the level of activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and in most other offshore areas around the world, there are strong indications that both value creation and employment will continue to rise in the years ahead.

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