OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE

From strength to strength

With its headquarters situated in the remote west coast town of Fosnavåg, Rem Offshore has a unique story. It has gone from being a small family-owned and operated fishing operation, to establishing itself as a well-recognised offshore shipping company, with major international customers. Listed on the Oslo stock exchange in 2007, Rem is now in the process of carving out a distinguished future.

  • Text:Kongsberg Maritime Communication

  • Gunvor Hatling Midtbø
    Vice President, Communications

Rem COO, Steven Rooney, started his maritime career back in 1985 aboard an Åge Remøy-owned fishing vessel. After a few years he

moved into the offshore industry, working for a number of Norwegian shipowners. But he always kept a close eye on the progress of his former employer, which had expanded into offshore shipping in 1996 after a long family history in fishing. Rooney returned to the company in 2007 as chartering manager and has not looked back since.

“We have a great team atmosphere and a unique culture at Rem,” he says. “Everyone works well together and our flat structure means that you can make things happen quickly.”

In 2011, Rooney was promoted to COO, a job that he thoroughly enjoys. “No day is the same. I love the dynamism of operating and chartering ships, especially in the subsea and construction market, and being head of all operational activities.”

He adds that having a very modern fleet at his disposal makes this job much easier. “We have one of the most modern and sophisticated fleets on the market. All our vessels incorporate the highest quality materials and the latest technology.”

Rem’s fleet now numbers 15 ships in operation and three under construction – the first of which will be delivered in June this year and two during the first half of 2014. The operational vessels include an anchor handling tug supply vessel, which is trading on the spot market, ten platform supply vessels (PSV) – one of which runs on LNG – and four subsea construction vessels. The majority of these ships were built by long-time partner, Kleven Verft and most run with the help of KONGSBERG equipment.

The company’s relationship with KONGSBERG began in 2004.

Rooney explains that as well as its sound technology, the company’s after-sales capability has also benefited Rem. “You cannot underestimate the importance of after sales support in the offshore industry, especially for critical system components like dynamic positioning (DP). We placed a great deal of emphasis on after-sales when selecting KONGSBERG to deliver our DP systems and they have not let us down,” he states. Having started with DP, Rem now runs a variety of KONGSBERG equipment – including integrated K-Master solutions on six of its PSVs. The newbuilds will also feature K-Master.

MAN AND MACHINE

But it is not just about technology according to Rooney, who believes that Rem’s crew can take much credit for the company’s success. “This balance of high spec vessels and a proficient crew enables us to offer excellent service to our customers, who keep coming back to us.” Those customers include a long list of major industry players such as Fugro TSM, Exxon Mobil, Deep Ocean, Statoil, ConocoPhillips and Canyon Offshore.

Rooney adds that managing its own crew is an important part of the company culture.

“Our crew is made up of highly experienced seafarers, mainly from Norway and other parts of Scandinavia. But, just as important as their competence, is the level of teamwork we have between our offshore and onshore staff. That is such an important aspect and why we will never outsource the management of our crew,” he explains.

The company’s recent performance supports Rooney’s claims. Despite an oversupply in the North Sea offshore market over the last few years, Rem has managed to post strong results throughout. Rooney puts this down to the company’s reputation to deliver quality assets and operations.

“The operational excellence we have shown our customers has meant that we have kept our utilisation rates consistently high through this tough period. It definitely gives us an edge in a very competitive market.”

A healthy balance between spot market, medium-term and longterm contracts allowed Rem to prosper while many others were hurting. With these vessels performing well, Rem is now looking to take advantage of opportunities emerging in the subsea market.

“The operational excellence we have shown our customers has meant that we have kept our utilisation rates consistently high through this tough period” - Steven Rooney, COO, Rem Offshore

SUBSEA SHIFT

With the oil and gas industry moving further from shore and into more challenging and remote locations, demand for subsea construction vessels is rising. Rem is working to meet that demand. It briefly flirted with the subsea market in 2006 when it built three subsea construction vessels, all of which entered into long-term contracts. In addition, two larger subsea construction vessels of MT 6022 design – Rem Forza and Rem Clough – were delivered to REM during 2008 and Rem Poseidon delivered to REM in 2009.

At one stage Rem operated up to six such vessels, but a decline in the market in 2009 saw the company shift its focus back to the PSV segment. Since then, Rem has monitored the subsea market carefully and last year, as market conditions improved, it promptly ordered a newbuild on speculation. This vessel, Rem Installer, has now secured a contract and will be delivered in June this year. Rem has two further vessels on order, one of which, Rem Ocean, was contracted from the yard with an eight-year time charter.

The vessels under construction are MT 6022 designs, featuring a powerful offshore crane that can lift 250 tonnes at 650 metres or 135 tonnes at 3000 metres water depth, as well as a 7.2m square moonpool, and three remotely operated vehicles (two Work, one Observation). They have a large deck area and can accommodate a total of 110 personnel. The vessels were designed in accordance with a demanding set of specifications, and also offer reduced fuel consumption and a greener profile.

Rem Ocean, one of three newbuilds, is on an eight-year timecharter to DeepOcean. DeepOcean was awarded the long term Statoil IMR work with

The three vessels have been built to withstand the demanding conditions of the North Sea, with good station-keeping capability. The second hull, MV Rem Ocean, also features winterisation features. 

A BRIGHT FUTURE

Having come from a humble background, Rem has grown into a highly-respected outfit. With recent finds in the North Sea and exploration beginning further north in arctic waters, the offshore oil and gas business does not look to be slowing down any time soon. The competence that Rem has developed in the offshore sector in recent years looks set to provide them with increasing opportunities in this industry in the coming years.