Aker Kvaerner Acquires 3D Drilling Simulation and Visualization Co

Aker Kvaerner has acquired a majority shareholding in the Norwegian company First Interactive AS. The agreement includes an option to buy the remaining shares.

"Aker Kvaerner is recognised for its development of innovative deepwater drilling technologies, satisfying the industry's requirements for efficiency, safety and operability. Acquisition of this technology and competence is a strong strategic lever for us going forward", says Mads Andersen, executive vice president in Aker Kvaerner.

First Interactive AS is a software company specialising in 3D visualisation and simulation for the oil & gas sector. First Interactive has headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, with a subsidiary in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2007, First Interactive realised revenues in excess of NOK 25 million.

First Interactive and the Aker Kvaerner subsidiary Aker Kvaerner MH, are jointly developing applications for 3D visualisation and simulation of offshore drilling operations. A new generation drilling simulator, enabling realistic 3D visualisation and real-time scenario building, is already launched. The simulator will primarily be used for training of rig operators, but also enables significant reduction in commissioning of drilling rigs currently under construction. The two companies are currently developing solutions for real-time, 3D visualisation of drilling operations which will enable onshore support and control of offshore operations. First Interactive's technology and competence can also be applied to other parts of Aker Kvaerner's business such as marine installation, subsea and well services.

"A realistic, real-time visualisation of the drilling operations will enable rig operators to make better and faster decisions. The result is more efficient drilling, and increased rig uptime. In addition this tool enables us to offer superior training facilities for our clients as well as our own employees," says Roald Amundsen, President of Aker Kvaerner MH.