Sebastian AS in Ulsteinvik, Norway, is to open a branch office in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on 1 March. The man who will run the office is in place - Jarle Uri is a Norwegian but has lived in South America for a long time and speaks fluent Portuguese.
"We've considered opening an office abroad for a long time. Now we've decided on Brazil for two reasons," says president and CEO Johannes Kr. Bjøringsøy.
"In the first place, we've found the right person. Such people are difficult to find. We're very choosy because we want to offer our customers the best possible services at all times.
"In the second place, times are tough in the offshore industry right now – with one exception: Brazil. This country is now planning large, weighty developments in the oil sector. They will need vessels for use in advanced DP operations. This is a market that we want to get into, so it's important to be there. We've had operations in Brazil since 2003 but large travel costs have led to us not being very competitive in this area."
Major investment Bjøringsøy does not try to hide that this is a major investment for Sebastian but he is convinced that they are doing the right thing.
"Jarle Uri has the right background. He has worked as both an FMEA auditor and an electrical/automation engineer. In addition, he has experience of advanced DP operations on board ships.
"Uri also has managerial experience and has been a CEO for many years – in both Thailand and Norway. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1999 and has lived there permanently since 2007, so he knows the place well."
Great cultural differences
When asked what it is like to work in Brazil, Uri replies:
"It's nice, but naturally you have to get accustomed to it. The business culture is very different to ours. So we have to be aware that we are the ones who have to adapt. By that, I'm not thinking about corruption or anything like that discussed in the media recently, but about other aspects of the culture. Brazilians are quite 'laid back' as people, but a Brazilian friend is a friend for life. It's important to make friends because they act as door openers. That's especially important in Brazil."
"We wouldn't have been able to start up so quickly in Brazil if we hadn't found a man who already lives there. And it's a bonus that he speaks the language fluently," says Bjøringsøy about the man who will now be in charge of Sebastian do Brasil.
Increasing interest in Brazil The investment cuts in the Norwegian oil sector have led to increasing interest in establishing operations in Brazil. Statoil's investment in the country has been a success. However, the Brazilian oil story has probably only just started. New finds are creating wonderful prospects and may be a goldmine for Statoil, which has produced oil in Brazil since 2011.
After working in the oil and maritime industries for 20 years, Sebastian has a wide range of knowledge and experience. The company's team have extensive experience of working in shipyards, on mobile offshore installations and on board ships. The company can provide a combination of engineering knowledge and captain experience that guarantees reliable and efficient FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) services, which are one of Sebastian's main areas.
- Hard work the over last years are now paying off, and our recent rig contracts are with three different clients in the drilling rig market. The consultant company are at the frontend of their field of expertise where they provide various advisory services to both Norwegian and international clients within the maritime and offshore industry. Over the last years SEBASTIAN AS have been strategically focusing on the rig market, and their new assignments are a direct result of this. - We monitor the development in the industry and consider ourselves a market leader within our niche. Our customers benefit from working with an independent third-party company, as our knowledge and quality focus becomes their advantage, explains Bjøringsøy. Transocean in Norway He is pleased to have recently completed one of the three contracts this year, their assignment with Transocean, one of the largest rig companies in the world. - The assignment was for “Transocean Spitsbergen”, where we did a new FMEA – Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, which in short is a process where you map and analyse potential failures and analyse their consequences. The new FMEA was required after installing batteries for hybrid operation, and advanced systems for closed bus operations. Earlier this month the documentation produced in this analysis was approved by the class society DNV-GL, and right now testing on the rig is being performed by following our documentation, Bjøringsøy tells. - I am extremely grateful for all the efforts our employees have put into this project during summer, by working long hours, including weekends and for moving their vacations. They have been making necessary sacrifices in order to complete the job on time, he says. “Lone Star” in Brazil The last month have been hectic and the hard work is now providing results. Bjøringsøy is pleased with the development. - A couple of weeks ago we signed a contract with a Brazilian rig owner, Constellation. This is a different kind of assignment where we are assisting the owner with re-activation of the rig “Lone Star” from layup, helping them getting it approved by Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil company. - This activity will be handled partly from our Brazilian office in Rio de Janeiro, and partly from our head office here in Ulsteinvik, he continues. New buildings in Singapore And the success continues, as the latest contract was signed this week. - Yes, things are really picking up for us now and it is a real pleasure to announce that we signed a contract this week with Awilco Drilling in Stavanger, Norway. This assignment is related to Dynamic Positioning (DP), an advanced system that helps the rig maintain position and heading during operations. We will provide a wide range of advisory services in this project. - We are very proud and pleased to have secured these new contracts with large, solid and well-known customers and the future is looking bright for us, finishes Bjøringsøy with a smile.