Norwegian Oil History is 40 years old


#1

It is 50 years since the first well was drilled on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Since I have been accused of being the Great Norwegian Bragger here, I may as well post something to celebrate the anniversary.

Here is an article (in Norwegian) about that event and the development over the next few years: http://e24.no/energi/nordsjoeen/50-aar-siden-startskuddet-for-norsk-oljeboring/23740753
(Hopefully Google translate will handle this gently)

Please also read the story by Rolf “Rocky” Oeverland: http://e24.no/naeringsliv/nordsjoeen/rocky-er-en-av-norges-foerste-oljearbeidere-det-var-mye-texas-tilstander/23742872
It is fairly descriptive of the “good old days”.

What is less well known is that the man behind the success of the Norwegian Oil adventure is an Iraqi: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/99680a04-92a0-11de-b63b-00144feabdc0.html
Most Norwegians have never heard of him. He prove that Immigrants aren’t a burden, but may be the “salvor”.

PS> This last article is in English and from 2009.


#2

Don’t worry too much about being a braggart, most of us are simply envious because we can’t get the bargeman to understand why we need to take them alongside when its blowing 40.


#3

[QUOTE=Traitor Yankee;187494]Don’t worry too much about being a braggart, most of us are simply envious because we can’t get the bargeman to understand why we need to take them alongside when its blowing 40.[/QUOTE]

Thought some oldtimers would enjoy the description from the early days. I missed the very first offshore activity in S.E.Asia, but when I got involved in 1974 it was still very much the “Wild East”. (Aside for a short spell as Navigator on American flag boats in 1970)

By the time I set foot on the rigs and platforms in the North Sea the Norwegian Authorities had realized that leaving the Oilco to run the operation and safety as they pleased was not a good idea.

The eye opener was the “Bravo Blowout” on the Ekkofisk Field in 1977: http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/ekofiskb.htm
And the capsizing of the Floatel Alexander Kielland in 1980: http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/alk.htm

In the first case it was found that the highly paid Expert in charge had been to a one week Vetco School. Before that he had been a Short Order Cook in New Orleans.

In the second case the OIM, (who by Norwegian rules was a Master Mariner) had no special training to be in command on a floating structure of this kind, or on spread mooring.

The good thing is that these two accidents did change the way things were done on the Norwegian shelf, with requirements for formal training and certification for Offshore workers and for Master Mariners who were to serve as OIM of Mobile Offshore Units.


#4

I’m pretty sure I stacked the Traveler and the Viking in the Ship Shoal area of the GoM in the late
1980’s.


#5

Interesting to note that Poland drilled the first oil well back in 1853 and the first refinery in 1854. Don’t know what became of that venture, maybe got burned down by whaling ship owners.


#6

Not history, but proof that the Norwegian oil patch is not dead yet: http://www.tu.no/artikler/oljemygg-med-arets-storste-funn-dette-betyr-enormt-mye-for-oss/349549
By the time this field gets into production the oil price is hopefully back in the $70-90/bbl.


#7

[QUOTE=ombugge;188370]
By the time this field gets into production the oil price is hopefully back in the $70-90/bbl.[/QUOTE]

Why is it going to take until the year 2116 to get the field to production? That’s what I call a long term strategy. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t think oil is going to get to $90/bbl again in my lifetime unless the USD becomes crazy inflated.


#8

[QUOTE=Emrobu;188374]Why is it going to take until the year 2116 to get the field to production? That’s what I call a long term strategy. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t think oil is going to get to $90/bbl again in my lifetime unless the USD becomes crazy inflated.[/QUOTE]

Don’t be a pessimist, it could happen faster than you think.
PS> I don’t mean fall of the mighty dollar, although that could happen come November.


#9

History has been made. The Chinese Seismic vessel HYSY 720 has completed the first seismic shoot in what may become the next big Oil & Gas province in Norwegian waters: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/cosl-completes-chinas-first-survey-in-arctic-circle

The vessel used was built in China, but designed right here in Aalesund: http://www.skipsteknisk.no/about/headlines/cosl-signed-up-for-2nd-st-327-seismic-survey-vessel/5/145/


#10

[QUOTE=ombugge;188913]History has been made. The Chinese Seismic vessel HYSY 720 has completed the first seismic shoot in what may become the next big Oil & Gas province in Norwegian waters: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/cosl-completes-chinas-first-survey-in-arctic-circle

The vessel used was built in China, but designed right here in Aalesund: http://www.skipsteknisk.no/about/headlines/cosl-signed-up-for-2nd-st-327-seismic-survey-vessel/5/145/[/QUOTE]

Wait, what? The Norwegian-owned and “Norwegian”-owned seismic fleet is big, awesome, new, and not-so-very-busy-at-the-moment. Why did a Chinese company get this work?


#11

The Norwegian Government is ready to hand out grants to those who develop new technology to be used in the Norwegian Oil & Gas Industry. This is an annual event, but with an extra NOK 50 Mill. this year.

They invite those who want to apply for grants to a seminar in order to inform on this scheme: http://www.npd.no/en/news/News/2016/Applicant-seminar-for-DEMO-2000/

Although the technology has to be usable for the Norwegian Oil & Gas Industry, it does mean it cannot be used in other places as well.

You do not need to be a Norwegian national, or a Norwegian company, to apply, but it helps to be a resident, or have a register company here.

Anybody on this forum with some good ideas they would like to present? I have a company registered now.


#12

[QUOTE=ombugge;188919]

Anybody on this forum with some good ideas they would like to present? I have a company registered now.[/QUOTE]

You bet your britches I do. Some of them are even seismic related. Several good ideas, but no means to prototype them.

But this doesn’t answer the question: why did a Chinese company get the work? Do they have some kind of nifty new way of shooting seismic for which they were given a grant?


#13

[QUOTE=Emrobu;188918]Wait, what? The Norwegian-owned and “Norwegian”-owned seismic fleet is big, awesome, new, and not-so-very-busy-at-the-moment. Why did a Chinese company get this work?[/QUOTE]

It is called the free market. This is how it works; Lowest bidder with best suited technology gets the job.
Since the Chinese has the same technology as the Norwegians they got the job in free competition.
There may be better equipped Norwegian owned/operated vessels idle, but they may be equipped above the requirement for this job, and/or over priced.
Norwegian seismic boats have been working in China for years. (Some still do, I believe)


#14

The early history of the Norwegian Offshore fleet and its development: http://www.skipet.no/maritimt/offshore/de-forste-forsyningsskip


#15

It is 50 years since the first Norwegian Drill ship, called “Drillship”, commenced drilling in the North Sea.
She was the former whale factory “Thorshovdi”, converted at Aker Shipyard in Oslo in 1967. She later became the “J.W.Bates” for Reading & Bates: http://maritime-connector.com/ship/jwbates-5360297/

One of the American veterans from that first Norwegian venture into drilling, Bill Gifford, is now living in Stavanger, Norway and has been interviewed by Sysla: http://sysla.no/2016/12/29/oljeenergi/50-ar-siden-bill-boret-i-nordsjoen_181752/

Anybody here who have had any involvement with this ship, or with Bill?


#16

There are plans on foot to produce a TV Serial about the early days of the Oil adventure in Norway and how it affected Norway, especially Stavanger: http://sysla.no/2017/03/05/oljeenergi/oljeeventyret-skal-bli-norges-dyreste-tv-serie-2_194020/
A coonass invasion in an innocent Norwegian town should be fertile ground for some drama.


#17

Someone had to come up there and teach y’all how to drive tugs and mud boats. It was probably as shocking as a cave man seeing fire for the first time. You have repaid us by invading our waters with underpaid foreigners and villagers depressing day rates to where our equipment can’t work in our own market.


#18

[QUOTE=ombugge;195864]A coonass invasion in an innocent Norwegian town should be fertile ground for some drama.[/QUOTE]

Last time I was there, we pulled in to drop off seismic records October '76. Foreign seamen had been restricted to their vessels because of a few brawls.


#19
The locals were prolly pissed that these backward foreigners were stealing their jobs. Sound familiar?

#20

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;195880]The locals were prolly pissed that these backward foreigners were stealing their jobs. Sound familiar?[/QUOTE]

The first company I worked for had quite a few boats in the North Sea and North Atlantic in the early '70s. When they started building the larger “North Sea” boats, They slowly started moving the fleet to South America. The prez of the company told us that they couldn’t compete with the subsidies of the Euorpean companies. In '77, we moved the big equipment to Alaska. We then found out what bad weather was all about…