ESVAGT Eyes Arctic Opportunities
Offshore vessel owner ESVAGT says it has set its sights on growth opportunities in Arctic regions where an uptick in oil and gas production is expected in coming years.
In the Barents Sea, for example, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate as recently as 2017 updated its evaluation of the area’s oil and gas reserves to over 17 billion barrels, a doubling compared to prior estimates.
ESVAGT says it possesses the particular skillset and assets required for operations in the Arctic.
"It is on many levels challenging to work in the Arctic regions," said Ole Ditlev Nielsen, business development manager at ESVAGT. "The cold can lead to icing and generally complicates operations. Additionally, it is almost dark throughout the day during wintertime, and the sudden polar low pressures with a particularly changing sea have to be taken into account. On top of that, multiple environmental considerations need to be respected, as the nature in the Arctic regions is extremely delicate."
Five vessels in ESVAGT's fleet of 40 are able to operate in harsh winter climates and are fitted with equipment such as heated ladders and surfaces which can withstand icing. Among them the 87-meter Esvagt Aurora, which has worked in the Goliat field for Eni Norge since 2012, as well as four smaller vessels, which likewise are optimized for winter operations in demanding environments, the Danish owner said.
According to Ole Ditlev Nielsen, ESVAGT’s experience with Arctic operations will be a competitive advantage.
"It is a market with sharp requirements, and where knowledge and know-how are quite essential. We have trained a lot in the area, worked actively with oil spill response, taken care of all support functions and been involved in successful rescue operations," he said. "Those experiences will be of great value to us, when the Barents Sea will be further explored."