Walkabout Australia’s subsea industry

During NCE Subsea’s study trip, light was shone upon the possibilities and challenges for the Norwegian supply industry in the Australian market. The projects are numerous and large, but the capacity for implementation can be a limitation.

Published: 11 March 2011

NCE Subsea organised, in week eight, a study trip for members and partners to Perth to attend Australian Oil & Gas (AOG). The trips program included an orientation from the West-Australian Department of Commerce, visits to FMC Technologies, DOF Subsea and Nemo Engineering, and a tour with Australian Marine Complex. The delegation also attended a series of seminars under the Subsea Australian Conference.

Possibilities for Norwegian suppliers

Oil and condensation production is falling drastically, while gas production will increase immensely in the years to come. A series of large development projects are, and will be, underway in Australia. The most well known are Pluto, Browse, Gorgon, Ichthys, Prelude, Sunrise and Wheatstone. The level of investment will be higher than ever in Australia. Rystad Energy predicts that Australia will be the world leading subsea market in 2014.

The main challenge for the Australian petroleum industry is that they do not have experience from multiple large offshore installations. They lack the experience from deep sea projects and they have limited access to experienced personnel, both within engineering and installation/operation. There are no legal demands to local content, the culture barrier is low and the language barrier is non-existent. This leads to excellent opportunities for Norwegian companies who wish to invest in a growing market.

The advantages of travelling together

Torstein Hansen, manager for Utsira Servicesenter, took part in trip to orient himself on the possibilities to supply anything, from maritime personnel to marine operators, to shipping and seismic companies in Australia. He made several good contacts during the trip which he will utilize at a later time. For him it was a huge advantage to travel together with someone else on an extensive and organised program.

This was also the case for Ole Bjørn Rasmussen, leader of market development in Trelleborg Offshore Norway. – The combination of company visits with access to AOG, social gatherings and the Subsea Conference has made this trip both attractive and special. To come together as a group opened doors which would not have been possible alone, says Rasmussen.

AOG has become a significant expo with over 15.000 visitors and 420 stands. Among these there were around 25 Norwegian companies, among others Framo Engineering, DOF Subsea, Norske Ventiler, UniTech and ClampOn. All of the subsea main suppliers, like Aker Solutions and FMC Technologies also had stands.

The delegation on a company visit at FMC Technologies, from the left Torstein Hansen - Utsira Servicesenter, Ole Bjørn Rasmussen – Trelleborg Offshore Norway, Roy Dahl – Technip, Roar Marthiniussen – Kongsberg Maritime, Mike Robinson – FMC Technologies, Arne Riple – Aker Solutions, Trond Olsen – NCE Subsea and Geir Egil Østbøvik – Imenco.