Rigging Up for Success
New Subsidiary Nordic Calista Takes Big Steps to Invest in its Future
Storyknife, November/December 2020 edition
Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the oil and gas industry. Calista Corporation’s newest subsidiary, Nordic Calista, used the slowdown as an opportunity to reposition itself and make strategic investments to attract new business when the market rebounds.
For example, Nordic recently upgraded its Rig #2 to include a sturdier triple mast and a rotary top drive to give the rig more power.
Nordic performed extensive maintenance on its camps by repainting them and installing new plumbing, sheeting, and insulation. It also purchased a trailer to increase the mobility of one of its five camps that house North Slope workers. After the camp renovations were completed, one camp was immediately contracted for the upcoming winter exploration season.
“An industry-wide slowdown is an ideal time to perform significant maintenance on your equipment fleet and deploy innovative technology that will help attract new customers,” says Udo Cassee, Nordic Calista General Manager. “We’re anticipating needs in the workover market and basically preparing for the future. This is a shift in strategy that reflects a change in priorities by our new owners. We’re being more proactive, and it has helped position us quite nicely.”
The projects have also kept the drilling crews working instead of being furloughed.
“Nordic leveraged the Paycheck Protection Program to bring our crews back to work,” says Sharon Lechner, Nordic Calista President. “Though we had to match the program’s funding with some of our own capital dollars, it kept our workforce whole. Our customers took notice in how we treated our employees during these tough months.”
Additionally, Nordic unveiled a new logo, upgraded its website, and is leveraging its presence in Alaska’s oil and gas publications and other venues.
“We’re anticipating needs in the workover market and basically preparing for the future. This is a shift in strategy that reflects a change in priorities by our new owners. We’re being more proactive, and it has helped position us quite nicely.” – Udo Cassee, Nordic Calista General Manager
The investments should pay off. The company is busy pursuing new contracts for exploration and workover projects on Alaska’s North Slope and it will help to have quality equipment and an intact workforce when the industry turns around.
“In addition to our navigation of the COVID crisis, Nordic is also proud of its 15 percent Alaska Native hire rate; we hope to increase that percentage as we grow our workforce as more work is won,” says Lechner.
Effective January 1, 2020, Calista fully acquired Nordic from its former joint venture partner (the company’s founder and former majority owner). Calista had previously participated as a 20 percent partner since 1985.
The Nordic acquisition and the purchase of 25 percent of the stock of Delta Constructors, an oil and gas services provider, were Calista’s first major acquisitions since 2013.