Swire Seabed looks ahead

October 2016


Swire Seabed combines more than 40 years’ experience in seabed mapping, geophysical surveys and pipeline inspection when creating the new department. The department will support the company's global operations by utilizing the latest technology and advanced ROVs and AUVs.

- My task has been to build up the company to become a global player, says CEO Arvid Pettersen. - Since we are a service provider, our strategy has been to expand the company and deliver more comprehensive services. When we look at those who work with subsea activities globally, we see that all have a greater or lesser degree of survey expertise. To differentiate ourselves in the market, we will now offer more services. Customers prefer a package deal when they are to have a job completed, and it is a huge advantage that we can now offer all the services in-house, he said.

Swire Seabed is willing to build up and expand in a market where most others are downsizing. - A new department with us means more staff, new technology and especially: global presence, says Pettersen. - We have noticed a great interest to be part of this, customers are curious and appreciate that we can deliver a comprehensive service. In addition, we are grateful to be able build up the organization in these times, and we have access to very well qualified applicants with versatile skills.

Mare incognitum

The company has already filled key positions in the new department, and is in the process of hiring even more. - Only a fraction of the seabed is surveyed. There will be a need for mapping in the long term, both in Norway and globally, explains Pettersen.

- Whatever you make of offshore-related tasks, they need survey says Jan Arvid Ingulfsen, Senior Advisor Survey and AUV Operations. - Regardless of how the market will be in the future, there will always be a need for survey services both in the oil /gas, subsea, and energy industry for decades to come.

In addition, Swire Seabed has received great interest from the technical market. 

- Technology companies are interested to participate in the development. It requires high standards for processing and map production, and thus necessary to have close cooperation with several companies in technology to provide such solutions in the future, says Ingulfsen.

 Survey as a gateway

Ingulfsen, who is developing the new department, says that they expect to be operational in the second quarter of 2017. - This is a new way of working, continues Pettersen.  

– The survey department's main concern is data collection, inspection work and mapping work. Survey is the gateway to many projects, and if you do a good job here, then you will have an advantage in the rest of the job chain. All work starts with mapping, and survey is a very important piece of the whole chain – especially when you want to establish a good customer relationship. Good feasibility studies allow you to become familiar with the customer and better suited to understand and solve their needs along the way, he concludes.


Facts about Swire Seabed

  • Swire Seabed is owned by Swire Pacific Offshore, based in Singapore, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swire Pacific Ltd, one of Hong Kong's leading publicly quoted companies with diversified interests in five divisions: Property, Aviation, Beverages, Marine Services, and Trading & Industrial.  Swire Pacific is in turn 54% owned by UK based John Swire & Sons Limited, a company which was founded in Liverpool in 1816 and employs over 130,000 people worldwide basis.
  • Swire Seabed and its partners Ocean Infinity and SeaTrepid are the only ones in the world who are able to operate six deepwater AUVs from one vessel.
  • The company operates three multi-purpose subsea vessels with WROVs. The ships are staffed by their own marine and ROV personnel. 
  • Swire Seabed has conducted one of the deepest salvage actions of precious metal ever undertaken: In 2012 and 2013 they recovered over 110 tons of silver from the SS Gairsoppa located at 4,700 meters deep off the coast of Ireland.

 This article was originally published in Norwegian on offshore.no. Find it here.