Oslo: In a last minute call ahead of our latest magazine going to the printers, Maritime CEO looks to reach an offshore owner not occupied with docking vessels and cutting staff, and finds Idar Hillersøy. He is willing to stick his neck out, despite the lowest point in offshore history. The friendly CEO of Siem Offshore OSV picks up the phone in an upbeat mood despite the fact that he is in airport in Poland after a long day’s work visiting Remontowa shipyard and haggling over delivery delays.
Siem Offshore OSV is among the largest and most important Norwegian offshore owners. Its diverse fleet today stands at 55 ships.
Hillersøy, only recently installed at the helm as CEO with Siem Offshore OSV, is a man with decades of offshore shipping experience, both as an owner and a broker.
“We are looking further out in the sea and deeper,” he says, on where opportunities lie in today’s depressed market. He highlights Statoil’s success outside Newfoundland and the largest oil discovery in this area in 30 years. Hillersøy knows this area well as he is former CEO of Secunda Canada. Other firms on Hillersøy’s impressive CV include Simon Møkster Shipping, Norwegian Contractrors and Stolt Offshore.
Siem Offshore OSV in one of many owners who has lost business in the Kara Sea, north of Siberia, due to sanctions imposed on Russia. Siem Offshore OSV also recently had to send home four AHTSs from Brazil, and the seamen on the ships to the unemployment office .
Providing a fillip, the company recently won a tender from the Norwegian government to send a PSV to help the EU’s migrant-saving Operation Triton in the Mediterranean. The Siem ship was one of 48 vessel offers submitted to the Norwegian government from local owners, a sure sign of a desperate market.
Hillersøy fears PSVs will struggle most in the offshore support arena thanks to a torrent of new vessels that will soon hit the water, launching into an already oversupplied market. How the market is going to absorb all the ships will be difficult for many years to come, he reckons. The subsea segment also looks dire, he warns, noting in particular Subsea 7’s reduced activity and the cutting of thousands of jobs.
While his company is hit by the falling oil price like all OSV players, Hillersøy says one advantage he has is that that the company is backed by Kristian Siem, the founder of Siem Industries, who thinks long-term in everything he does.
Siem Offshore OSV has nine newbuildings on order at Remontowa, nearly half of these (three PSVs and one cableship) will now be delayed.
Hillersøy is one of 14 shipowners profiled in the latest issue of Maritime CEO magazine, which can be accessed free of charge by clicking here.