Relaunching to reap rewards from growing market

WITH WA’s energy market rapidly becoming one of the global sector’s brightest prospects, one Perth-based company is about to reap the benefits of the recent upsurge in oil and gas exploration.
Viking Moorings is set to relaunch under the new name of Viking SeaTech, with a clear vision in mind for the WA market. Although it now has an updated identity, the company’s mission to be the best complete moorings provider for the industry’s major operators remains unchanged.
Viking SeaTech managing director Chris Forde will be leading the Australian business. Defining the company’s operational advantage in the booming Australian market, Mr Forde said that Australia was a great place to do business.
“We currently service the majority of rigs off the west coast of Australia. As drilling moves into even deeper water, we will continue to ensure our customers benefit from our experience in the world’s harshest environments.
“Our competitive advantage is founded on our in-house engineering capabilities and our ability to supply equipment from our operational base in Karratha, rather than shipping it in from all over the world,” Mr Forde said.
Viking SeaTech’s business ventures are currently expanding at an extreme rate, with the Australian arena being one of its highest-performing regions. To mark the company’s name change and thriving business success,
Viking SeaTech has opened a new custom-built Perth office with 13 employees. Since opening its first premises in Perth in 2009, the company’s staffing numbers have doubled, with the establishment of new, larger offices reflecting the upturn of business in the area.
The transition to Viking SeaTech has been swift. For the first time in its history, the company is set to supply industry workers, in addition to the rig positioning, inspection, maintenance and other associated support services that it currently provides.
Mr Forde welcomed the additional dimension to Viking SeaTech’s portfolio of skills. “Our rental of comprehensive moorings equipment is just the beginning. As Viking SeaTech, we aim to support major operators with the complete service to meet the demands of the fast-changing energy sector. “Our clients have tight deadlines, so we are expanding our services so that they can reach those goals on time and on budget,” Mr Forde said.
Growing its existing services while adding new and unique functions is at the forefront of Viking SeaTech’s innovation, which includes remotely-operated vehicle services plus the production and maintenance of FPSO units.
According to Mr Forde, in-house engineering capabilities partnered with the means to supply the industry with equipment from various Viking SeaTech sites placed the company ahead of its competitors. “We’re much more responsive than many of our fellow industry counterparts as we have the resources to not only provide the rental of moorings equipment but also to mobilise the units as well, rather than shipping equipment in from across the globe,” Mr Forde said.
Viking SeaTech benefits from Mr Forde’s 20 years of varied experience in the mining, oil and gas industries, in addition to a strong sense of leadership which he said generated unrivalled business success.
His passion for the energy industry began at the Institute of Technology Tralee in Ireland through the undertaking of mechanical and electrical diplomas. Upon completing his education, Mr Forde set his sights on an international career in the minerals sector.
“Moving to Australia from Ireland was an easy decision to make and in 1992, I began my career working in all aspects of mechanical repair, process design and implementation,” he said. Roles within Schlumberger took Mr Forde to Bahrain, France and Jakarta before he entered his fi rst supervisory job in the oil field industry in 2000.
“Working in international locations gave me the experience and knowledge before entering into management roles. With Schlumberger Oiphase-DBR, I undertook various business development manager positions, with particular emphasis on the Asian markets,” he said.
Mr Forde implemented Schlumberger PVT laboratories in Malaysia and Australia, resulting in a 65 per cent surge in the market share across the region, with extensive reservoir sampling and analysis in Asia ensuring that business was greatly increased during a five-year period from 2006 to 2011.
Joining Viking Moorings as managing director for Australia in September 2011, Mr Forde’s decision to become a key component of SeaTech group executive Bill Bayliss’s revolution was an easy one.
“Viking embodied everything I stood for. With safety and customer service at the absolute paramount of its values, I knew that I wanted to become part of this innovative and brave company,” Mr Forde said.
These values have been the drive behind Viking SeaTech’s new identity, with employees fully embracing the principles for business success.
“We ask our staff to be safe and united as we are driven by an unrelenting pursuit of an incident-free workplace and working together as a unified team. Being ethical and customer-oriented is at the heart of our operations, as Viking SeaTech [bases its] relationships with customers on trust, integrity and respect,” Mr Forde said.
“It is of the highest importance that we meet the needs and expectations of our clients using the best possible solution. Similarly, we always take ownership of the task and ask our employees to be accountable and people-focussed. Striving for success is behind each of our projects, as we do not tend to settle for second best.”
Currently, the Australian energy market remains buoyant and attractive to major oil companies, with demand for LNG in Asia driving exploration activity.
To date CVX, XOM, Inpex, Total, Woodside and Shell have committed more than $100 billion to develop large-scale LNG plants in Australia, and Viking SeaTech already has framework agreements under way with the majority of clients in the region.
“Australia is a very stable country to do business [in] and is close to the Asian market, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of gas sales. We currently service the majority of the rigs off the coasts of Australia,” Mr Forde said.
Australian operations remain a key component in the future of Viking SeaTech, with Mr Bayliss fully committed to meeting the demand and needs of the Australian energy sector.
With the core Viking SeaTech values underpinning the future of the business, this approach forms an integral part of the company’s bold vision to become the supplier of choice in rig movement and mooring operations for the offshore oil and gas industry.

One Response to Relaunching to reap rewards from growing market

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