In 2016 RASMUSSENGRUPPEN AS and GC Rieber Shipping ASA established Shearwater GeoServices Holding AS, a new, jointly owned marine geophysical company. At its inception, Shearwater had a very experienced team of industry professionals and a fleet of four modern, high capacity seismic vessels equipped with streamers. Based on RASMUSSENGRUPPEN’s significant financial strength and willingness to make further investments in the industry, Shearwater’s goal from day 1 was to become a consolidator of the seismic industry.
In 2018 Shearwater and Schlumberger entered into an agreement for Shearwater to acquire the marine seismic acquisition assets and operations of WesternGeco, the geophysical services product line of Schlumberger. Shearwater acquired ten high-end seismic acquisition vessels, including seven 3D vessels and three multipurpose vessels (MPVs) configured to serve the growing OBS market, twelve complete streamer sets with spares, as well as two source vessels. The transaction also included WesternGeco’s proprietary marine seismic technology, as well as development and manufacturing facilities in Norway and Malaysia. As part of the transaction, Schlumberger became a shareholder in Shearwater.
In 2019 Shearwater and CGG S.A. entered into an agreement for Shearwater to acquire five high-end seismic acquisition vessels, two legacy seismic vessels and five complete streamer sets. The agreement also included a five-year utilization commitment from CGG for an annual minimum of two vessel-years from Shearwater over the period. This commitment provides Shearwater with a guaranteed cash flow and activity level, resulting in a greatly improved visibility and more robust business model. The seismic vessels were jointly owned by CGG S.A. and Eidesvik Offshore ASA and as part of the transaction Eidesvik Offshore ASA became a shareholder in Shearwater. Following further shareholder transaction in early 2021 Shearwaters main shareholders are RASMUSSENGRUPPEN AS, Schlumberger, and GC Rieber. The CGG transaction was completed in January 2020.
In 2021 Shearwater announced a streamer and vessel transaction acquiring six seismic vessels and the associated seismic equipment. This transaction allowed the early renewal of Shearwater’s fleet via the introduction of six new Explorer Class vessels and provided a base for Shearwater’s growth in Ocean Bottom seismic.
Today Shearwater has a fleet of twenty eight vessels, including three ocean bottom deployment capable vessels (Multi-Purpose Vessels) and two dedicated source vessels.
In 1936 the first company in the group was established by Einar Rasmussen Snr and over the next decades the group built itself into a substantial business of international shipping. In addition to conventional tankers and bulk shipping, the business became focused on developing niche products such as shuttle tankers and offshore support platforms.
In 1997 to 2003 the group underwent a strategic process of change, where the business directed its core areas into three groups; Financial Investment, Real Estate/ Property Development and Shipping/offshore.
Since being founded in 1879 as a Norwegian business trading skins and leather, GC Rieber has evolved over four generations to a global shipping organization providing ship development, design, construction and operation services to the subsea, seismic and ice/support sectors.
GC Rieber is not new to marine seismic having performed pioneering operations in the Hudson Bay and Canadian Artic as early as the 1960s.
Schlumberger is a global oilfield services company providing reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry.