Visit at MHWirth. Left-right: Eirik Bergsvik (CEO, MHWirth), Ann Marchioro (Project Manager GCE NODE), Rikard Gaarder Knutsen (State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy) and Maryann Løcka (Assistant Director General, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy).

“I always value input from companies in the most important Norwegian industry. I am impressed by their technological feats,” says Rikard Gaarder Knutsen.

The State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, visited National Oilwell Varco and MHWirth in Kristiansand Tuesday.

Accompanied by Assistant Director General Maryann Løcka, Knutsen was given presentations and tours of the two largest Agder suppliers to the oil and gas and maritime industries, and also two of the leading companies in the GCE NODE cluster.

With operations in 12 countries and 1,500 employees worldwide, MHWirth’s global headquarter is located in Kristiansand.

“We have been hiring people since the beginning of 2019,” said CEO Eirik Bergsvik and Chief Commercial Officer Roy Dyrseth. The primary reason being that MHWirth has secured the two only complex offshore drilling packages awarded in the global market in recent years. The advanced rigs are built in Singapore, ordered by Awilco Drilling, for delivery in March 2021 and March 2022.

“Our most advanced system ever, requiring less people to operate. This is in alignment with what is considered the future of rigs,” said Bergsvik.

Building more cost-efficient rigs with lower energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions, seems like the antidote to what Dyrseth refers to as “100 rigs stacked in anticipation of better market conditions”.

“We welcome stricter regulations that prevent older rigs from re-entering the market. Such regulations have previously been introduced in to the maritime sector, as a means of lowering emissions and reducing the risk of leakage. Why should we allow a 40-year-old oil rig to resume operations, when newer rigs are better in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental footprint?” asked Bergsvik.

A three-minute-walk from MHWirth’s global headquarters, lies the Norwegian headquarters of fierce competitor National Oilwell Varco. NOV Norway currently employs 1,660 people and estimates 2019 revenues to reach approximately MUSD 800.

“Globally, NOV is a leading oilfield equipment manufacturer and technology and service provider with 35,000 employees. We are a dependable partner in a high-risk, high-cost world. Our goal is to make our customers successful, that is by achieving the lowest marginal cost per barrel,” proclaimed Arnfinn Juvastøl, Vice President, Service & Repair, Marine Construction.

The Kristiansand location, one of NOV’s 635 locations worldwide, specializes in rig technologies. NOV Norway recently delivered complete drilling packages to the Johan Sverdrup rig on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

“Automation-ready rigs with full closed-loop drilling and remote monitoring capabilities. Industry-leading control systems with machine-learning capabilities. That is what we do,” said Anders Hodne, Sales Director.

He emphasized the importance of public funding schemes for research, development and innovation, such as DEMO2000, and supportive financing schemes, such as GIEK and Eksportkreditt.

“The majority of the 60 drilling ships we have delivered in the last ten years have been financed through Eksportkreditt. This has been very important for our success,” said Hodne.

Visit at National Oilwell Varco Norway. Left-right: Vibeke Nordbø (Executive Assistant, NOV), Anders Hodne (Sales Director, NOV), Ann Marchioro (Project Manager GCE NODE), Rikard Gaarder Knutsen (State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy), Arnfinn Juvastøl (Vice President, Service & Repair Marine Construction, NOV), Geir Furenes (Director of Finance Eastern Hemisphere, NOV) and Maryann Løcka (Assistant Director General, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy).