We trace our origins back to a small mechanical workshop, named Akers Mekaniske Verksted, founded on the Aker River in Oslo, Norway, in 1841. It grew steadily and went through various forms as a shipbuilding and engineering company. In 1853, rival Kvaerner Brug was founded nearby and in the following decades the two companies expanded in step with the industrial revolution.
Initially the main activities included shipbuilding, manufacturing components for machinery and equipment for clients in the iron and non-ferrous metals industries and shipping. Mechanical and marine engineering soon became the core business and in the heydays of the steam engine, the company engaged in a wide range of areas including timber, wood and pulp, coal, hydropower, fisheries and shipping.
In the 1960s, when oil companies discovered oil and gas in the North Sea, we shifted focus. To begin with, we converted and prepared existing offshore rigs for service in the harsh conditions of the North Sea. Soon, we were developing our own rigs, such as the Aker H-3, which remains one of the most celebrated designs in the industry some 40 years later.
In 1967, Aker delivered “Ocean Viking,” an offshore drilling rig that in 1969 was used to discover Norway’s first oil field, Ekofisk, which was also the world’s largest offshore oil field of its time.
Faced with the challenges of the North Sea, the oil industry had to come up with good, safe and reliable solutions for the development and operation of deepwater fields and difficult reservoirs. We became a driving force in the development of subsea fields, floating production concepts, horizontal wells and increased oil recovery, to name a few areas.
In 2015, we delivered the world’s first subsea gas compression system for Norwegian state-controlled oil company Statoil’s Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea, about 200 kilometers off the coast. The system, nearly the size of a football field, revolutionized offshore natural gas production by cutting costs and improving safety with fully-fledged oil and gas production and processing systems on the bottom of the ocean.
A New Era
In 2002, we entered a new era by taking over major engineering, construction and shipbuilding rival Kvaerner and assuming the name Aker Kvaerner. Merging the two companies created a financially and technically strong business with interests as diverse as oil and gas, paper and pulp and shipbuilding.
By 2007, we had been streamlining so we could focus on our core activities. We divested our pulp and paper and shipbuilding businesses and concentrated on the oil and gas industry as well as providing process and construction for the downstream, chemicals and mining industries.
In April 2008, we announced our new name, Aker Solutions. We divested the process and construction businesses in 2011. In the same year we also spun off our engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) activities and revived the respected Kværner ASA name for listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
In 2013, we sold our well-intervention services and mooring and loading systems businesses.
In 2014, we streamlined our business to focus on two main segments, subsea and field design.
Following the spin-off of Aker Carbon Capture and Aker Offshore Wind in July 2020, we operate as the strategic execution partner to both companies, supporting the development of deep-water offshore wind power production and cost-effective carbon capture technology.
In November 2020, we merged with Kvaerner, becoming a leading provider of project execution, engineering, construction (EPC), and technical services to the global oil and gas and renewable energy markets. With a strong focus on maximizing recovery whilst minimizing the environmental impact , the combined company has the capabilities, competencies and technology offerings for decarbonizing oil and gas operations and developing new and integrated solutions for renewable energy industries.