GC Rieber was founded in 1879


GC Rieber was founded in 1879 and has evolved over four generations. Initial business centred on the trading of skins and leather, with independent shipping activities first featuring in the early 1930s. From the 1930s to today, GC Rieber has established an unique position in the global offshore shipping industry.


1930s / Wooden fishing vessels

Shipping activities began with wooden fishing/hunting vessels in the 1930s

1950s / Ice and polar research deployment

Participation in the first Norwegian post-war scientific expeditions to the Antarctic

1960s / Seismic deployment

First deployment in seismic surveys in Hudson Bay 1965

1970s / Arctic seismic exploration

Pioneering work in the seismic exploration of the Canadian High ArcticContinuous worldwide seismic operations from the mid-1970s

From 1976 / Increasing research Activity in the Antarctic

1980s / Offshore subsea support

First deployment in offshore subsea support

1986 / First in-house vessel design

The decision to design and build the “Polar Princess” (now “Princess”) in-house in 1986 marked the start of GC Rieber Shipping’s consolidation of project management and design skills. Most of GC Rieber Shipping’s vessels since this time have been designed and followed up in-house, a process that has resulted in the accumulation of experience and skills to give GC Rieber a unique competence in today’s market.

1990s / Seismic design excellence and listing on Oslo Børs 

Largest stakeholder and responsible for the building of the first Ramform seismic vessel in 1995
Responsible for the building of a total of six Ramform vessels between 1995 and 1999
Start of ship management services from 1995 (in connection with the Ramform vessels)
Demerger from GC Rieber, IPO and listing on Oslo Børs in 1998

1999 / 15-year bareboat contract with British Antarctic Survey

2000s / Seismic consolidation and harvesting

Demerger; seismic activity and assets spun off into Exploration Resources ASA in 2005.
Exploration Resources listed in March 2005 and acquired by CGGVeritas in autumn 2005.
Arrow Seismic established in late 2005, with subsequent listing on Oslo Axess in May 2007.
Thereafter, disposal of 42.5% stake in November 2007.

2006-2008 / Global and value chain expansion

Acquisition of a majority shareholding in Technocean
Acquisition of 100% of Scan Mudring - seabed soil removal specialist
Acquisition of a 40% shareholding in Bluestone Offshore Pte Ltd – deepwater geotechnical analysis
Establishment of OCTIO - integrated reservoir monitoring and subsea surveillance
Establishment of ship management office in Singapore, Asia

2009-2010 / Fleet renewal program and further value chain expansion 

Acquisition of three seismic vessels and two subsea new buildings.
Reef Subsea established in 2010 as a 50/50 joint venture between GC Rieber Shipping and HitecVision.
Marine seismic company Armada Seismic was established (owned 65 % by GC Rieber Shipping). 

2011-2013 / Consolidation of operations in Bergen 

Ship management office in Singapore closed down in 2011, and UK office closed down in 2013. 
Acquisition of outstanding shares in Armada Seismic in 2012.
Sale of shares in Octio in 2012. 
Contracting of new high-capacity subsea vessel and seismic vessel. 


2014-2015 / Back to core

Strengthen focus on core activities and operational management.
Sale of shares in Reef Subsea in 2014.
New high-capacity subsea vessel and seismic vessel delivered. 


2015-2016 / Challenging market conditions

Oil price crisis led to challenging market conditions and customer bankruptcies. 
Low vessel utilization and focus on cost cutting. 
Establishment of Shearwater Geoservices, a marine geophysical company, together with Rasmussengruppen.  


2017- / New markets

New markets and green operations with several operations within offshore wind projects.
Shearwater became a marked-leading marine geophysical company in 2018.
Completed financial restructuring of the company in 2018.