The Knutsen Company dates back to 1896 when Mr. Knut Knutsen O.A.S. established a shipping company in Haugesund, Norway. The company developed to be the third largest tanker owner in Norway in the 1930’s and kept its strong position up to the 1970’s. After the shipping crisis in the beginning of the 1980’s, the family owned company was dissolved, and the new company, Knutsen OAS Shipping AS, was established in 1984 by Bergen Bank, the Knutsen family and Mr. Jens Ulltveit-Moe. Shortly after the company being established, Mr. Trygve Seglem was appointed Technical Director and became part owner and was instrumental in the first shuttle tanker contract. The Knutsen family and Bergen Bank (at the time Den Norske Bank subsequently sold their shares and Mr. Ulltveit-Moe and Mr. Seglem became joint owners). Since then, the company philosophy of providing technically advanced vessels on long term contracts to first class charterers in combination with well-run operations, have led to a substantial expansion.
The first two Suezmax shuttle tankers with dynamic positioning systems were delivered in 1987, and the shuttle tanker fleet grew to 9 vessels in year 2000. The Knutsen group was the first to use the flexible coupling for bow loading operations in the North Sea, and contributed with the development of the APL submerged turret loading system and became the first to use this system in 1994. The company was also very early to perform tandem offloading operations in the North Sea and the first to introduce diesel electric propulsion on shuttle tankers. The submerged turret loading system (STL) for shuttle tankers was installed for the first time on M/T Tove Knutsen, and the same vessel was used to test the system offshore at the Heidrun field. Some modifications were tested out on same vessel before installation on later vessels M/T Hanne Knutsen and M/T Jorunn Knutsen. (These vessels were later renamed and are not identical to present vessels with same name.) The first SDS (stern discharge system) was installed on above mentioned M/T Jorunn Knutsen and later installed also on the FSO (Åsgard C).
Knutsen was also the first operator of a VOC recovery unit on a shuttle tanker. A test installation was made on M/T Tove Knutsen in 1994, and later a full scale installation was made on M/T Anna Knutsen.
In 1997, the company was awarded the contract for a Field Storage and Offloading vessel for the northern North Sea at the Åsgard field, and the vessel has been operating with 100% regularity since it was installed in year 2000. In 2005, this vessel was also the first of its kind to be equipped with a turret arrangement for loading from two independent production platforms simultaneously. The same year, two shuttle tankers were delivered for operations at the White Rose field offshore Canada.
During the 1990’s the Knutsen fleet grew with 9 product and chemical tankers whereof 8 vessels with ice class 1A. A new niche in shuttle tanker operations with 35 000 M3 vessels was also introduced to serve smaller oil fields in the North Sea.
In 2010 Knutsen joined forces with NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) and established a new company, Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS (KNOT), for the shuttle tanker fleet. For more information go to http://knutsenoffshoretankers.com
In year 2000, the first LNG contracts were awarded, and by 2011 the LNG fleet comprised four 138 000 M3 and four 173 400 M3 LNG carriers and the world’s smallest coastal LNG carrier, 1100 M3. The four newbuilt LNG carriers were delivered in 2010 each with a capacity of 173 400M3 and with reinforced GTT NO96 cargo containment system, twin skeg and diesel electric propulsion One of the LNG carriers is also the first of its kind with Ice Class 1A. These vessels are mainly based on operation from the Peru terminal.
The Knutsen group has a strong focus on technology development, and is world leading technology provider in marine transportation of compressed natural gas with its proprietary Knutsen PNG® Technology. The group has also its own proprietary technology for VOC reduction during tanker loading, Knutsen KVOC® Technology. The Knutsen Ballastwater treatment (KBAL®) technology has been developed since 2008 and first phase IMO approval was achieved at NIVA test center in Norway in 2010. Full scale installation was made on MT Gijon Knutsen in 2011 and two out of three final qualification tests have been approved. Final type approval certificate was received by DNV in November 2012.
Knutsen has also developed own concepts for FPSO’s and LNG FPSO, arctic LNG carriers, special vessel for chemicals injection into platform production risers and bunker vessels with dynamic positioning system for offshore supply.
Knutsen OAS Shipping is determined to incorporate safety, health, security and environmental issues into all aspects of vessel design and operation through Quality Management that satisfies the demands of the most safety conscious customers as well as meeting the requirements of national and international rules and regulations. Knutsen OAS Shipping AS is certified according to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004, and a qualified supplier to the oil and gas industry in the ACHILLES system.