“It is very important for new market entrants like us to have the right equipment. We generally lease boats and nodes, but had a strong desire to buy our own node-handling equipment, since this is both simpler and cheaper. This purchase increases our flexibility and gives us a competitive advantage,” says Axxis Geo Solutions CFO Svein Knudsen.
Node seismology involves the laying of seismic sensors, or “nodes”, on the seabed in a pre-determined pattern. Once the nodes have been deployed, a survey ships passes over the area, generating shockwaves that penetrate the rock under the nodes and are reflected back to the ship. This provides a seismic image of the area. The node-handling system is used to manage the rope to which the nodes are tethered.
“Once shooting is completed, the nodes are retrieved in a specific order. This is done by securing the end of the rope that was previously laid out and pulling it back on board with specialised equipment. The node batteries are then recharged in a docking station while the seismic data are downloaded,” relates Bjørn Berge, head of operations at Kongsberg Evotec.
The node-handling system purchased by Axxis uses winches to pull in the rope, each of which has a storage capacity of 100 km of rope. The system includes a compensator that ensures stable tension on the rope. Previously, such systems included a far greater degree of manual handling. The new automated solution is both safer and allows far higher operating speeds.
Axxis Geo Solutions was established in January of last year, but has already become an international actor with offices in Indonesia, Norway and the USA. The node-handling systems the company has ordered from Kongsberg Evotec comprise a standard product that has been specifically adapted to the company’s equipment and nodes. The first two systems were delivered in the course of the summer.
It is clear that this growing market is attracting new, dynamic and skilled market entrants.
Bjørn Berge, Kongsberg Evotec
“This is our first assignment for Axxis. We have delivered two node-handling systems to them that are already in operation, and are due to deliver a third system in the fourth quarter. It is clear that this growing market is attracting new, dynamic and skilled market entrants,” says Berge.
Although both the supplier and the borrower are situated in Ulsteinvik, the agreement qualified for export financing because the equipment will be used aboard vessels operating offshore and internationally.
“Initially, the node-handling systems will be installed on two ships – Geo Caspian and Havila Fortune – which are due to start operating off the coast of India at the end of the year. After that, the systems will also be used on other ships,” relates Knudsen.
Export Credit Norway is pleased to be able to provide export financing for this technological solution.
“Two particularly smart features of the system are that the nodes can be handled without stopping the cable and that the system can be operated by just one person,” says Preben Aakermann, Senior Vice President at Export Credit Norway.