The First Day in Norway
Aker Solution - "VISONEERING"
At the first day we went to Aker Solutions in Stavanger where we were nicely welcomed by Daniel Cazón (Senior Manager Innovation and Technology) and Thor Skailand (Sales Manager Visoneering technology). In the beginning we went to a very innovative part of the company called “Visoneering”.
This means a combination of visualization and engineering to simulate maintenance and modification operations in the maritime environment. This technology is used to improve optimized installation methods, to reduce risks and to increase the productivity. Here we got a guided tour through the personal work stations, meeting rooms and the center of visualization called “The Dome”.
In the second part we got a short presentation of the key data and the philosophy of Aker Solutions. The company is acting worldwide with approximately 25.000 employees in more than 30 countries. The core competences are focused on the offshore oil and gas industry. Their services include the engineering part as well as the offshore operations. In addition the company considerates a HealthSafetyEnvironment-mindset of great importance.
With reference to their philosophy they care a lot of the motivation of their employees so that everybody feels comfortable as an important part in the whole team. This all together makes a good foundation for successful projects.
At the end we had a good possibility to get a personal view of the work at Aker Solutions during lunch. We thank the persons who presented their company in an open-minded way and with a lot of enthusiasm. For further information please contact Mr Daniel Cazon.
After having left the virtual reality of Aker Solutions‘ iPort, we proceeded our tour to Norwegians major oil and gas company. Being a quite young company, it is by now not only the biggest one in Norway in Europe but also a leading company worldwide, related to cutting-new edge technology. Today, Statoil describes their philosophy with the following features
- Hands on
Entering the headquarter of Statoil, we were not only impressed by the size of the building but also by the architecture.
At a first glance, it was unbelievable to just have entered an office complex, constructed in a very modern way, using a lot of wood, generating a very warm and friendly atmosphere. By now, we know that most of the headquarters we have visited have a very attractive architecture, creating a positive climate for working. Since Statoil was the second company to visit, this was even more impressive.
Listening to many presentations, we got to know Statoil and its
history as well as a lot of information about different projects,
Statoil is involved in. Our visit was accompanied by several specialists
of Statoil, representing their field of work.
This offered us the genius chance to ask a lot of detailed questions,
e.g. about pipe-line laying, the subsea-technology or about current oil
fields. Since we are mainly all students of naval architecture and ocean
engineering, such first-hand information about the interesting oil- and
gas-business are really fascinating.
The most impressive
presentation was the last one, held by a German Senior Engineer. He
mainly talked about the great chances, Statoil offers. Besides many job
offers for graduates, a lot of training programs are available. These
cover the possibility to cooperate with a Master Thesis, continue
further studies parallel to work or to participate in trainee
programmes, offering the chance to get to know a lot of business
sections of the company. Actually the work has to be done even in
Norway, though the flexibility of combining job perspectives with
further education and private affairs is much higher, than experienced
A comparable low hierarchic structure together with a
great willingness of flexibility offer great chances even to German
students as we were told during our visit to Statoil.
All in all
this was a very interesting and impressive visit to Statoil giving us a
wide an informative insight to a typical Norwegian company and the
offshore business. For further information please contact Mr Gunnar
Gaustad. Thanks a lot to Statoil!
Bergen Group Rosenberg – EKTE ENGINEERING
The second day started again with a luxury breakfast with Norwegian salmon.
Then the bus driver picked us up. On the way to our first station of the day we drove over the Stavanger City Bridge which offered us an amazing view over the city and the landscape. When we arrived at the main entrance of Bergen Group Rosenberg we were nicely welcomed. The tall building of 17,639m² EKTE ENGINEERING is very modern with a lot of bright wood. Through the huge windows we were able to see the port of Stavanger which was quite impressive.
First, we went to a big meeting room where we got instructions in case of emergency – they pay much attention to HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) at Rosenberg. Afterwards we were informed about the company structure, organization, working conditions and their former and current projects in several presentations.
The Yard was established in 1896 and started its career with classical ship building and repair. Nowadays they are focused on offshore products and installations. Therewith Rosenberg became an important contributor to the development of the Norwegian offshore industry.
Rosenberg is an international company with employees from 19 different countries. At the moment there are only two German engineers, but they would like to increase this number. For this reason we were encouraged to apply in the future. According to the presented statistics there will be a lot of work to do.
After the presentations we got the chance to visit the facilities of the yard area. But before we were allowed to enter the area we had to get proper protection clothing. It took some time to cover 20 students in red overalls and to equip us with helmets, gloves, glasses and protection shoes. We were quite an eye-catcher!
We visited the piping & mechanical workshop where we got a look at some pipe segments, the welding sector and the new cutting machine which is also capable of beveling. In the big steel & pipe prefab workshop and assembly hall we saw the 300m long production line. Furthermore we saw the drilling installation where Rosenberg drilled 200m deep into the floor of the hall for research purposes. Because they had lunch break at the time we visited the facilities, we didn’t bother anyone. ;-)
The visit at Rosenberg ended with a lunch where we got delicious sandwiches with salmon and shrimps served.
All in all, we felt very comfortable at Rosenberg and it was a very interesting visit. We enjoyed the nice atmosphere and some of us may come back to Stavanger for doing EKTE ENGINEERING. For further information please contact Mr Erling Lange.
University of Stavanger
Due to the “usual” delay of the bus, we unfortunately arrived late at
the University of Stavanger (Universitetet I Stavanger; short: UiS).
First of all we want to provide a short overview about the university:
At the UiS approximately 9.200 students are enrolled and it consists of the following faculties:
The Faculty of Science and Technology (2100 students)
The Faculty of Social Science
The Faculty of Arts and Education
The Museum of Archaeology (no Students enrolled)
The focus of our interest was of course the Faculty of Science and
Technology, which is divided into the following 5 departements:
Department of Petroleum Engineering
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Department of Mathematics and Natural Science
Department of Mechanical and Structual Engineering and Materials Science
Department of Industrial Economics, Risk Management and Planning
At the beginning we were warmly welcomed by Ms. Bente Dale from the international office. She introduced us to Professor Ore T. Gudmestad, who gave us a brief overview of the three specializations within the Master program of Offshore Technology, which are Asset Management, Marine and Subsea Technology and Risk Management. He told us that there is also the opportunity to achieve a Double Degree in company with the Oil and Gas University in Moscow.
After that we took a tour through the university, starting with some interesting laboratories. The research presented to us was directly connected with the Oil and Gas business. For example there is a program concerning the Ekofisk oil field. Because the oil is located within porous chalk, the interaction of the oil with the chalk is studied, e.g. the compaction rate.
Furthermore we were introduced to a research field concerning practical testing of multiphase flow in pipes. In addition to that we saw labs, where students could perform analysis of drilling fluids, crude oil and cement.
At the following walk through the nice and green campus we saw accommodations, the sports center for students with a big climbing wall and the international office.
For foreign students it is positively to mention, that all lectures within the Master of Offshore Technology are held in English and there are agreements with several german universities. Also there are no fees for studying in Norway. Further information can be found under the following link: https://www.uis.no/nb or by Ms Bente Dale.
The impressions we got were very positive, because the UiS looks modern and attractively arranged. The University is currently growing due to the strong Oil and Gas business located in Stavanger. That underlines experiences of the earlier visits, where Oil and Gas always was in focus.
On Wednesday we started our trip to visit Gassco. The company is located in Kopervik north from Stavanger. It took an hour by bus through an amazing landscape to reach our destination. Gassco is a very young company which was founded in 2001 by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE). The core business of the company is to operate the Norwegian gas pipelines.
Formerly several companies, with Statoil leading the way, owned and operated the Norwegian gas pipelines. This change was cause due to new regulations adopted by the EU. It claims that the gas owner and the owner of the gas transport system must be different institutions. Today Gassco is fully owned by the Norwegian state. In 2011 Gassco delivered 94.2 bn scm of gas from Norway to the continental Europe and Great Britain.
After a very friendly welcome we started with an informative presentation of Gassco and the whole organization. In the presentation was also an outlook for the gas market and the challenges which Gassco has to handle with. For example in the short term, one challenge is to connect the gas fields far away from the existing pipelines. In the long term Gassco has to handle the possible surplus in capacity when the demand of gas decreases, due to shale gas production in the USA.Since the gas business was entirely new to many of us, a number of questions raised and formed a highly interesting conversation.
Afterwards we were divided into two smaller groups to visit the control room. Gassco is responsible for the quality of the gas delivered to the customers. To secure the quality the composition of the gas has to be controlled continuously. We visited the control room with large screens where the chemical composition of the gas in the system is monitored.If certified shippers want to export their produced gas from e.g. a platform, it is necessary to book capacities from Gassco (usually 24 months before). The charge depends on the amount of gas to be exported. Gassco also operates some processing facilities onshore were the gas from the platforms is processed for the transport to Europe.Furthermore, Gassco is very forward looking in terms of research and development. The Research and Development department has an remarkably high budget per year at disposal (80-100 mil. NOK per year). A recent development is an automated pipe inspection system.It was very impressive to see how the gas comes from Norway to Europe and what is all behind that. We thank Gassco for the nice visit. For further information please contact Mr Patrick Hendriks.
On our trip to the first shipping company we were very interested for this mostly unknown kind of business but as the other days we almost ended up in the ocean because of modern navigation technics. Backing our bus up lead us to the impressive office location directly at the sea side. This has not been the place of the meeting.
We were placed in an old renovated fishing hut next to the office building used for meetings and other events.
An impression of the owners point of view of operating and ordering the vessels was given to us in a presentation after a very warm welcome. Today Knutsen is the second largest shuttle tanker operator.
Historically the shuttle tanker solution was planed to be a temporary one. Pipelines should be connected to every platform. Tankers proved to be an efficient solution for smaller oil fields to avoid costly pipeline laying. Knutsens tanker are equipped with state of the art dynamic positioning systems and different loading techniques for loading offshore at rough weather condition. Including significant wave height up to eight meters.Another business area are LNG carriers. These ships use dual fuel engines and one although has ice class A1 as the first one in the world.Apart from normal business Knutsen is working on improving their ships. An own technical department works on solutions and innovations.Different solutions were registered as patents such as the KVOC. This invention avoids boil off while loading crude oil from the platform. Another product is a simple and efficient ballast water treatment system which is based on physics and is not using chemicals or filters. The contaminated water is pumped up several meters, while downfloading pressure decreases and water starts to boil.
Knutsen showed us that shipping companies can be very innovative and improve ship efficiency with modern equipment. For further information please contact Mr John Helland.
On thursday the 6th we started vistiting the mainoffice of Odfjell in Bergen. Odfjell is a leading company in the global market for transportation and storage of bulk liquid chemicals, acids, edible oils and other special products.
Originally set up in 1916, the Company pioneered the development of the chemical tanker trades in the middle/late 1950s and the tank storage business in the late 1960s. Odfjell owns and operates chemical tankers in global and regional trades as well as a network of tank terminals.
The managed fleet of 96 vessels capacity between 4.000-almost 50.000 tdw and 2350 seafarers are employed.
The Vice President Helge Olsen gave us a nice view over the shipmanagement and companies structure.
Then we enjoyed a complete roundtrip through all important compartments supported by the leader of the several offices: chartering / crewing; fleet management: technical department with offices of superintendents as like nautical department, department for new building and projects.
We followed some floors and stairs and in front of the bureaus there we heard from our guide, what is done in this section.
Sometimes our way through the building was like walking in a labyrinth. Thats because everytime there was a demand of more workingspace, we continued building our main office. So you can see the growing of our company by looking at our mainoffice, Mr. Olsen explained.
On each floor was time for our questions and all explanations were conscientious and fine, so we felt well informed and enjoyed our visit. For further information please contact Mr Knut Erik Fredriksen.
On thursday, september 6th, 2012, we visited the GRIEG Group in Bergen. Jan Oyvind Svardal, also Naval Architect and head of the Newbuilding department from GRIEG Star, welcomed us and started with a little presentation of the company in which we got to know that the GRIEG Group is into multiple fields of maritime industry for example shipping, brokering, offshore windfarming and port operations. To conclude: GRIEG Star is a fully integrated shipping group both operation and supervising their fleet.
An intresting fact was that 25% of the company is hold by a foundation, which means that part of the gained capital is invested into social projects.
In the main part of the presentation Mr. Svardal talked about his work, which is about Newbuilding & Projects. He informed us mainly about one current project dealing with the so named “L-class” – a new type of 50.000 tdw open hatch multi-purpose vessel – which is build by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Korea at the moment. The first vessel will be launched in the second week of september.
After a short lunch break, were we enjoyed a wunderful view over the Bergen Fjord out of the “GRIEG Club”, Mr. Svardal went on telling us something about the environmental encouragement of the company. One of the remarkable points is that GRIEG shipping is really motivated to enhance their fleet’s efficiency due to research and technical improvement. One step towards that aim were several towing tank tests and modification of the propulsion system such as the rudder and propeller. With this refinements up to 6% of fuel consumption can be saved.
Futhermore he highlighted that GRIEG shipping will no longer support shipbreaking in Alang, India, where the working conditions, as generally known, are more than inhuman.
All in all we have to say that out visit to the GRIEG Group was a very interesting insight in a modern shipping company and our special thanks goes to Mr. Svardal for giving an exciting presentation with lots of details for naval architect students like us.
Kongsberg Maritime is located in the large technology park of the town Kongsberg. The city lies approximately one driving hour by car away from Oslo in a great landscape with agriculture, besides a river and surrounded by mountains.
Kongsberg Maritime produces and sells ship components. For example all electronic components and control systems used on ship bridges are delivered to customers like Knutsen Shipping and Odfjell Tankers we visited a few days before.
Furthermore, Kongsberg connects the developed systems to simulators. One type of simulator with the main components of a ship bridge is sold to academies and schools with a navigation part.
Moreover, a so called key master chair for operating vessels such as offshore supply vessels is developed and constantly improved. Due to its ergonomic layout, this special chair has all necessary devices in the arms, so that anchor handling or position mooring systems are easy and efficient to operate from one place with a good overview.
The simulator for this chair is not only used for demonstrating but especially for training the enduser how to work with the complex system. After a lot of real sailing hours and further training with the simulator he can receive a dynamic positioning (DP) certificate.
The intention of Kongsberg is to give answers to questions. It does not want to be the biggest company at all, but it wants to be the strongest in the market.
Kongsberg is acting like a small company, every person is involved and gets the feeling of being important. For this reason a meeting is held for all employees once a month for sharing the latest news regarding the company and its progress world wide. The employees shall be proud of the company when they put their Kongsberg jacket on and go out to work. Kongsberg as a working place is supposed to be high rated by Norwegian students.
Unfortunately Kongsberg could not give us a presentation.
The last informations are given by Gyri Stenhaug. For more details you can contact her: Gyri.merete.stenhaug~AT~kongsberg.com
DNV- Managing Risk
Our last visit took place at the DNV headquarter in Høvik, just outside from Oslo. The office is situated in a partly former industrial and partly new building environment, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. We were cordially welcomed and placed in a big conference room. Here took the presentation and the following discussions place.
DNV gave us the possibility to get an overview of their company structure and their activities as well as we could gain insights in some more detailed projects. These presentations gave us the opportunity to learn how it is to work for DNV.
The project presentations were focused on development and the research in the container activities, the wind offshore market projects ant the LNG activities.
Each presentation was hold by an employee of these departments. It was very interesting to see how DNV is acting these global challenges.
An example is their behavior during the economy crises: instead of releasing employees, they started in-house research projects for the future so their engineers could do a lot of concept work like the Quantum Project. Further it could be seen in current business project that during these “concept work”, DNV could improve their competence in different areas which was shown to the market and which helped to gain new contracts.
The second area which was presented more detailed was the offshore wind market. Although Norway don´t need energy from wind parks, DNV establish competences as a classification company to accompany projects in all over the world. Also in this area is research a nice solution to be prepared for the future: the first floating wind turbine is developed and now investigated by DNV.
Finally, we were informed about the LNG market as well as LNG as an alternative to HFO to fulfill upcoming IMO regulations. All the presentations were very good and the following discussions showed that the DNV was keen to present themselves as a global player of maritime industry.
At the evening, we had the chance to get to know the Norwegian food culture during a dinner, provided by DNV in the city center of Oslo.
While eating tartar and halibut, we could ask more personal questions about working in DNV, but also about living and working in Norway in general. It was a tremendous experience and we were very thankful that DNV made such a great day possible. For further information please contact Mr Jan Laukøy.
On the last day we concluded our journey by paying a visit to several museums.