Photo: North Star CEO, Matthew Gordon; Source: North Star

New batch of contracts for North Star fleet marks its ‘most sizeable order book’ in years

North Star, an offshore vessel operator servicing the oil and gas industry in the North Sea, has inked contracts totalling more than £100 million (about $134 million) for emergency vessel support work on the UK Continental Shelf. The company claims this is its most sizeable emergency response rescue vessel (ERRV) order book in recent years.

North Star informed on Thursday that it has been awarded a raft of new contracts to support North Sea operators’ assets with its fast-response emergency fleet, purpose-built to protect personnel working on offshore oil and gas platforms.

Matthew Gordon, North Star CEO said: “North Star has supported the offshore energy sector for the past 40 years and we have an unrivalled expertise and high-quality ERRV fleet. I’m proud to say that we have never left any client’s offshore workforce unsupported, ensuring there is always a vessel on standby to enable any crew changes, help to replenish stores on the installation, or support regular maintenance.”

The firm explained that these new contract wins are a combination of new clients and new asset locations, as well as continuations secured with operators, which have awarded deals to North Star since the 1980s. The company said it is the North Sea’s largest emergency response vessel operator with 41 ERRVs in its fleet, currently assigned to support 50 offshore oil and gas installations in the region.

North Star is a key member of the UKCS ERRV Association and has offices in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Lowestoft. It employs 1,400 personnel across the UK, including 140 deck and engineering cadets enrolled in its three-year training programme.

“The North Sea is still a very competitive landscape, and we recognise the need for continual investment in our fleet and services to ensure we deliver value and efficiencies to remain market-leading. As part of this, we have looked to optimise our operations with a new maritime fleet management system and begun the process of decarbonising our entire fleet,” added Gordon.

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In December 2021, the company started an in-depth sustainability study across its existing offshore infrastructure support vessel fleet to help decarbonise its tonnage, enhance operational performance, and meet its net-zero 2040 target.

In pursuit of further growth, the firm has also invested a six-figure sum in the fleet management software tool, Sertica, as part of its digitisation strategy to streamline the business and support further efficiencies.

Last year, North Star entered the UK’s offshore wind market as a provider of service operation vessels (SOVs) which are used to transport technicians to offshore wind farms and accommodate them for extended periods of time. The firm’s first renewables fleet for the offshore wind market includes four SOVs and associated daughter craft to support wind turbine technicians working in the North Sea.

“The offshore wind sector is on an upward trajectory across Europe, and we are in a very strong position to capitalise on our growing momentum to secure further new business in this sector. At the same time, we remain focused on ensuring we deliver the same high standard of services and support our North Sea operator clients are accustomed to,” concluded Gordon.

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In January 2022, while announcing its new owners – a global private markets firm Partners Group acting on behalf of its clients – North Star outlined its ambitions to transform the business into a leading pan-European next-generation offshore wind infrastructure services business.