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Our trusted partners: Vertikal Service

Since 2019, OceanTech has maintained a valuable collaboration with Vertikal Service. CEO Bernt Schjetne highlights the importance of cultivating long-term partnerships, engaging subcontractors early in the planning process, and strongly emphasising joint training onshore. These practices are vital for attaining optimal efficiency and safety in splash zone projects.

Since OceanTech’s establishment in 2017, we have experienced remarkable growth, establishing a global presence in splash zone projects. We attribute this achievement to our team of skilled engineers and our cutting-edge technology tailored for splash zone operations. 

However, our growth would not have been possible without the partnerships we have formed with our subcontractors. They provide specialised execution expertise, particularly in rope access, lifting, and rigging operations. Among our longstanding and trusted partners is the services company Vertikal Service.

«In 2019, our collaboration began, marking the start of a highly productive partnership,» said Bernt Schjetne, CEO of OceanTech.

Vertikal Service provides a range of specialised services, primarily focused on industrial rope access, work-at-height solutions, and related operational activities. While OceanTech’s in-house staff effectively manages and coordinates all projects, the collaboration with Vertikal Service allows flexible access to highly skilled specialists during the execution phase offshore.

Reflecting on the collaboration, Schjetne expressed, «The staff at Vertikal Service exemplify a unique blend of skills, solution-oriented thinking, and a resilient, positive attitude towards embracing change. It is genuinely a pleasure to collaborate with professionals who possess such a mindset.»

Seasonal fluctuations require flexibility

To effectively address the diverse range of expertise required for different projects, engaging subcontractors is often the most efficient approach. It enables us to access specialised skills, maintain flexibility, control costs, accelerate project timelines, and mitigate risks. 

«By strategically leveraging subcontractors, our project teams can access a broader talent pool and effectively cater to the diverse client requirements encountered in splash zone operations,» said Schjetne.

Demand fluctuates throughout the year, particularly in the field of splash zone operations, which are predominantly conducted during the summer months.

Offshore conditions become notably more challenging during the winter months, characterised by heightened roughness. Winter storms and high winds intensify the power of waves, creating a more turbulent environment. Additionally, lower temperatures can induce alterations in water density, resulting in even stronger currents and waves. 

Schjetne explained, «While our robotic solutions increasingly enable us to conduct inspection and maintenance work year-round, there is a noticeable surge in demand during the summer months. As a result, maintaining a permanent specialist staff in all fields becomes less attractive.»

«In addition to the commercial considerations, there are significant health and safety benefits in having specialists who consistently perform the same tasks,» he added. 

The value of long-term partnerships

OceanTech prioritises dedication, professionalism, and a steadfast commitment to delivering top-quality services when seeking subcontractors. Moreover, attention to detail and a proactive problem-solving approach are crucial attributes we value. 

Schjetne emphasised, «We prioritise a selective approach rather than hiring random subcontractors, as this could introduce HSE and quality challenges. Instead, we establish long-term collaborations with a few trusted partners who possess extensive experience in splash zone projects. Cultivating these enduring partnerships with select, proven companies like Vertikal Service is paramount to our operations.»

OceanTech’s solutions enable seamless access and efficient operations across many structures, including offshore platforms, fish farming cages, wind turbines, bridges, and more. Crucially, we customise equipment and tools to suit the unique requirements of each project. This necessitates a collaborative approach involving joint training and thorough testing prior to executing operations offshore. 

Schjetne highlighted, «We prioritise safety by conducting joint training and testing at our Subsea Test Center. This collaborative process fine-tunes our equipment, verifies functionality, and ensures that subcontractors are trained effectively.»

He added, «Vertikal Service plays an active role in project planning to ensure the safe and efficient utilisation of methods and equipment.” 

To date, OceanTech and Vertikal Service have successfully collaborated on splash zone projects for clients like Equinor and ConocoPhillips. In the summer of 2022, we embarked on a substantial project at the Heidrun platform, with Vertikal Service providing a team of 20 specialists offshore. 

Martin Saure Bogen, project manager at Vertikal Service, emphasised that the project offered a demanding opportunity, given its intricate rigging requirements. He noted the outcome received high praise from Equinor, the platform operator and client, who expressed satisfaction with the outcome.

“The project’s success can be attributed to our early involvement in the planning phase, a strong focus on collaboration throughout, and a shared commitment to creative problem-solving from all team members involved”, he stated.

As OceanTech sets its sights on international expansion, we recognise the potential of markets such as Australia and Brazil. 

Schjetne shared, «In these ventures, Vertikal Service will continue to be a crucial partner. We have been witnessing an increasing number of requests from these markets, and the prospects in Brazil, in particular, are truly exciting.»

Schjetne concluded, «When it comes to splash zone projects, the involvement of highly skilled personnel and unwavering focus is paramount, especially during complex lifting operations. To ensure safety and efficiency in our operations, the foundation lies in long-term partnerships, joint training, and collaborative planning. By prioritising these elements, we uphold the highest standards of HSE and deliver successful outcomes for our clients.»

Photo by Vertikal Service