St. John’s floated for new offshore supply base

NorSea Group considering expansion to Newfoundland and Labrador

Ashley Fitzpatrick
Published on August 26, 2014
The exhibition space at the Offshore Northern Seas Conference in 2012. This year’s gathering will including a “Canada session” with focus on opportunities offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. — Photo: ONS/Kallen

A Norwegian company specializing in offshore supply base and support operations is considering establishing a new marine base in St. John’s.

NorSea Group maintains nine supply bases along the Norwegian coastline, one in Denmark, one in Holland and has a presence in four Scottish ports, pressing aggressively into the United Kingdom over the past year, with a takeover of the supply base and logistics company Danbor.

On Wednesday, at the Offshore Northern Seas oil and gas conference in Stavanger, Norway, the company’s director of international and project operations, Knut Magne Johannesen, is scheduled to give a presentation on: “(A) new ‘one stop shop’ logistic hub in St. John’s.”

NorSea is not currently operating in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Norsea Group are currently exploring business opportunities outside of Norway as a part of our expansion strategy,” Johannesen stated, in an emailed response to questions.

“As such, offshore East Coast of Canada is recognized as a growth region where we have identified what we believe is the opportunity to offer supply base services to customers, based on the combination of predicted growth in the offshore activity and limited offers from established service providers.”

Johannesen said the company is not, at this point, committed to a development. “The title in the presentation point(s to) one out of several possible locations which is currently under evaluation by ourself,” he stated.

The presentation will be part of a “Canada session” at the conference, one also including presentations from chair of the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Scott Tessier, Nalcor Oil and Gas lead Jim Keating and Bob Cadigan, president and CEO of Noia.

The same session will feature presentations on the expected investment in offshore Canada 2014-2018, growing capabilities in offshore Newfoundland and Labrador and, from Statoil Canada, an update on activities offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sources say NorSea has approached Irving Oil about its potential project, given that company’s property on the south side of the waterfront. Irving has not responded to a request for comment.

The City of St. John’s has confirmed there are no related development applications on the table for approval.

A representative with the St. John’s Port Authority has said it has no control over any private development.