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Oilfield Service Companies: Aker Solutions

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Aker Solutions ASA ; a Norwegian oil services company headquartered in Oslo; is a global provider of products and services inengineering, construction, maintenance, modification and operation of new and existing oil and gas fields. The company, with roots back to 1841, was known as Aker Kværner prior to 2008.

The predecessor company, Aker Kværner (OSE: AKVER) was founded in 2004 as the result of a major restructuring of a complex 'Aker Kværner' business unit, formed originally in 2002 by the merger of Aker Maritimeand Kværner Oil & Gas. On 3 April 2008, Aker Kværner was renamed to Aker Solutions, partly due to the difficulty that most non-Norwegian people found in pronouncing "Kværner".

The company was majority controlled by Aker ASA until 2007. Through a major ownership restructuring on 22 June 2007, Aker ASA completely exited its holding in Aker solutions, and transferred a 40% stake toAker Holding - which in turn owned by Aker ASA (60%), the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry (30%), SAAB (7.5%) and Investor AB(2.5%).

History

Aker Solutions as it exists today is a result of close cooperation and mergers between several Norwegian companies during the 20th century.

Evolution of Aker Kvaerner : 1841 to 2002

The timeline below summarizes the main events leading to the foundation of Aker Kvaerner - from its origins as Aker Mechanical Workshop (1841) - till the merger of Aker Maritime with Kværner Oil & Gas to form Aker Kvaerner (2002).

  • Timeline
    • 1841 : Aker established its first mechanical workshop along the Aker river in Oslo called Aker Mechanical Workshop, which made components for machinery and equipment for its clients from the iron and non-ferrous metals industries and shipping.
    • 1853 : Kvaerner Brug was founded in Oslo.
    • 1922 : Kvaerner Brug began cooperation with Myrens Verksted
    • 1943 : Kvaerner and Myren jointly acquired the majority shareholding in Thunes Mekaniske Verksted.
    • 1960 : Kvaerner Brug's President, Kjell Langballe, was appointed President of all companies within the 'Kvaerner Group'
    • 1967 : Joint holding company Kvaerner Industries AS was established in December that year, and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The Kvaerner Group comprised 10 Norwegian companies with 3,200 employees and operating revenues of NOK 385 million. It entered the offshore oil and gas market from its base in Oslo through Kvaerner Engineering, which was established as an engineering and contracting company in the late 1960s.
    • 1978 : Offshore construction work started at Kvaerner Egersund and during this period the shipyard inStavanger was converted into an offshore fabrication facility.
    • 1996 : Kvaerner sought to strengthen its engineering base internationally through the acquisition of the UK-based conglomerate, Trafalgar House and became an international player in shipbuilding, oil and gas, pulp and paper and engineering and construction. It moved its international headquarters to London.
    • 1998 : Kvaerner's pulp and paper became a core business area in its own right
    • 1999 : The company initiated a major sell-off, focusing on realising capital through divestments. These efforts did not solve the mounting financial and operational challenges, which eventually brought the company into an acute liquidity crisis in August 2001.
    • 2000 : In July of that year, Aker Maritime ASA, a Norway-based offshore products, technology and services provider, bought a 26 per cent of the shares in Kvaerner ASA.
    • 2001 : In November of that year, an agreement was reached between Aker Maritime ASA and Kvaerner ASA. Aker Maritime injected NOK 2.8 bn in net assets, raised another NOK 3.5 bn through two direct issues and renegotiated NOK 8.6 bn of Kvaerner's debt.
    • 2002 : The Group decided to adopt the Aker Kvaerner brand for the entire Group.

Aker Kværner, and transition to Aker Solutions : 2002 - 2008

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Logo of Aker Kværner prior to company renaming.

Aker Kværner was the result of a merger of Aker Maritime and Kværner Oil & Gas in 2002, and a major restructuring of the Aker Kværner business unit in 2004.

Earlier in 2003, the group structure of Aker Kværner was split into six business areas; Field Development Europe, MMO Europe, Subsea & Oilfield Products, Oil, Gas & Process International, E&C Europe and E&C Americas. A need arose in 2004 to simplify a rather complex group structure which led to the formation of two focused industrial groups - Aker Kvaerner, specialists within Oil, Gas, Energy and Process; and Aker Yards, specialist shipbuilders. The new Aker Kvaerner started trading on Oslo Stock Exchange under ticker symbol 'AKVER' on 2 April 2004.[4][5]

In 2006, the company's paper/pulp and power businesses were sold to Finnish-based Metso in a deal worth €335 million.[6] On 7 June 2007, an agreement was announced where a 40.1% stake of the company would be sold from Aker ASA to Aker Holding.[2] The new company would be owned by Aker ASA (60%), the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry (30%), SAAB (7.5%) and Investor (2.5%).[3][7]

On 3 April 2008 Aker Kværner officially changed its name to Aker Solutions. This was in part due to the difficulty that most non-Norwegian people found in pronouncing "Kværner".

Aker solutions : 2008 - till date

During the AGM held on 3 April 2008, Aker Kvaerner announced that it was launching a new visual identity, together with the new name - Aker Solutions, which identified the connection with Aker, honoured its heritage and people. Aker solutions started trading under the new symbol 'AKSO' on the Oslo stock exchange.

Kværner re-emerged on 6 May 2011, when the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) part of Aker Solutions took the Kværner name. The new Kværner company was spun off and listed on Oslo Stock Exchange in 3rd quarter of 2011. The holding company which held Aker Solutions - Aker Holdings AS was renamed to Aker Kværner Holding AS, to reflect that Kværner ASA was spun off from Aker Solutions and listed as a separate company. Aker Kværner Holding also owns about 40% in Kværner ASA. In 2011, Aker ASA took over the 10% stake owned by SAAB and Investor AB, raising its holding in Aker Kværner Holding AS to 70%.

Operations

It operates globally and directly employ approximately 23,500 people in around 30 countries. It has annual revenues of approximately NOK 36.5 billion.

Products and services

Aker Solutions sells products and services that range from oil exploration, through development of new fields and platforms, to services aimed at prolonging the life of existing fields. The main offerings include:

Engineering and MMO

Aker Solutions is a global provider of engineering services for new builds, as well as maintenance and modification of existing facilities in the upstream oil and gas industry. The company's offering ranges from concept and feasibility studies, front-end design and detailed engineering for new oil and gas production facilities offshore. The MMO (maintenance, modifications and operations) unit also has the capacity to deliver so-called 'turnkey' installations from its yard in Egersund, on the south west coast of Norway.

Drilling technologies

Aker Solutions delivers complete drilling equipment and systems, including drilling risers, which are produced at the company's manufacturing sites in Malaysia and Brazil. It is one of the world's two leading suppliers of offshore drilling equipment (the other being National Oilwell Varco of the US).

Process systems

Aker Solutions delivers a wide range of wellstream processing technologies, which help treat and transform the oil and gas from their natural state in the reservoir to prodcuts that can be marketed and sold by the major oil companies. The treatments include a range of separation technologies (separating oil, gas, water and solids such as salt and sand).

Mooring_and_loading_systems">Mooring and loading systems

The company delivers products such as fairleads and anchor winches used in the mooring of ships, floating platforms and drilling rigs, and complete systems for loading and offloading of oil and gas between oil producing platforms and big tank vessels.

Subsea

The company provides subsea and sub-surface products and services for oil companies. The offerings range from design, through manufacturing and commissioning to maintenance services.

Well intervention services

Aker Solutions delivers products and services that help clean up wells, which improves the flow of hydrocarbons to the surface, thereby making the field more efficient and profitable. On July 4, 2008, Aker Qserv entered into an agreement with Aker Solutions to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Aker Well Service AS. Aker Qserv is headquartered in Aberdeen and has facilities in the UK, Asia and West Africa. Aker Qserv is a leader in the provision of well intervention services in the North Sea with an international presence.

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