Building a Fleet through Knowledge and Experience


“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Chekhov
In any business, the importance of both knowledge and experience is imperative to growth potential and long term success. Companies large and small must understand what customers want and respond to market demand in a timely manner. This means effectively executing this understanding through a well trained staff knowledgeable about their corporate philosophy.

The challenge consistently remains in the ability to harness this knowledge and experience in a productive, much sought after commodity, especially with technological advances and environmental challenges. Innovation incorporating diversification in quickly changing markets is a concept Secunda Canada LP has understood for the past 30 years.

With a current diversified fleet of ten vessels, Secunda Canada, formerly known as Secunda Marine Services, is prepared with years of experience and a skilled work force who know both their vessels and their clients and are able to meet the demands of the off shore supply vessel industry.

A Canadian company founded in Nova Scotia in 1983, Secunda owns and operates a fleet of offshore supply vessels. Sold in 2007 to McDermott International, an American company whose focus wasn’t on Secunda’s OSV fleet, Secunda is now once again Canadian owned, repatriated by Birch Hill Equity Partners of Toronto in 2012, a private equity firm with focus in the Canadian offshore sector.

Secunda is hoping to secure additional vessels and as Chris Pitts, Secunda’s Director, Business Development explains, “There are many opportunities for fleet renewal and growth identified over the next five to 10 years. The trend for more opportunities continues. Secunda is gearing up for such growth.”

An Experienced Team

With offices in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Secunda has serviced over 50 major oil and gas companies worldwide, but its primary focus now is oil and gas fields on offshore Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. With an elite trained team possessing both experience and knowledge in dealing with the oftentimes harsh work environment of the North Atlantic’s offshore operations, Secunda meets these challenges by providing a consistent culture of safety, quality of work and customer satisfaction.

“Secunda is proud to have served all of the customer base in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia,” says Chris. “Secunda sees the industry growing in both provinces substantially, and is excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Indeed, it appears that growth is the operative word for the area’s offshore industry. Eight billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves have been identified in eastern Canada’s offshore, generating a keen interest from some major companies, such as Suncor, ExxonMobil, Shell, Statoil, BP and Encana, just a few of Secunda’s many clients. Noteworthy is that the oil and gas industries generate close to $7 billion in annual revenues and provide over 17,000 jobs in Atlantic Canada.

“Secunda’s broad reach in its customer base has been decades in the making and owes that to a combination of entrepreneurism and necessity,” explains Chris. “Keeping a fleet of ships working while in the trough of a cycle breeds innovation… In a logistically complicated industry, the people who repeatedly provide a quality service become a preferred choice. Our seafarers are those people. Our responsiveness to our customers’ ad hoc marine needs sets us apart from our competition.”

The Deep Panuke Project

With the discovery of natural gas reserves in 1998 on the Scotian shelf – 250 kilometres southeast of Halifax – the owner and operator of the Deep Panuke Project, Encana Corporation, is ready for production. This billion dollar project is welcoming news for Nova Scotia’s economy and for its natural gas suppliers. The Deep Panuke Project, worth over $700 million, is expected to last eight to 13 years with royalties for the province expected to range from $50 million to $300 million annually. The project will create hundreds of jobs for Nova Scotians.

Secunda has been a major contractor for the Deep Panuke Project in handling, for example, weekly runs of approximately 150,000 pounds of goods and material on its Ryan Leet tug vessel to and from the Panuke Project. “Secunda has provided vessels to the Deep Panuke Project during exploration, development and now production,” adds Chris. “The project is very valuable to the local supply chain, government and communities throughout Nova Scotia.”


Secunda has a robust underlying philosophy in health, safety, the environment and the quality of its services. Through its HSEQ Management System, Secunda strives to ensure that health, safety and protection of the environment are always foremost in daily operations. This is maintained through a work place culture that ensures that hazards are both identified and mitigated. “Secunda has proven safety management systems based on international and national regulations, industry best practices and knowledge attained while working in the harsh Canadian North Atlantic over the past 30 years,” emphasizes Chris.

Being ISO certified, Secunda delivers quality service through carefully controlled, inspected and tested operations and, says Chris, “The health and safety of each employee, client and subcontractor is something we value strongly as a company and individually… Our robust system of risk management, safe work practices, monitoring and relentless pursuit for continuous improvement provides integrity to our commitment to safety and our good safety record is evidence of this.”

Chris notes that in terms of environmental safety, Secunda’s objective is to have zero environmental spills, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and design innovation for vessel rebuilds. “Year after year, Secunda meets its objectives with no harm to the environment,” he says. “We’ve been extremely successful in reducing GHGs in the past three years on taking this initiative, mostly due to our stewardship of fuel consumption.”

Looking Ahead

Each year, Secunda’s focus is on the expansion, construction and reconstruction of various vessels to meet offshore supply demand. The demand comes from blue chip corporations, with whom Secunda has multi-year contracts that are moving further north into deeper, largely unexplored waters off Canada’s east coast.

For this reason, Secunda’s future vessels need to have eco-friendly designs and be fuel efficient with sophisticated technology to ensure effective business practices. Of the future of Secunda, Chris relates that the vision is to, “Build a fleet of vessels that meet our customers’ needs, and look for innovative ways to improve the success of all stakeholders in the Canadian offshore oil and gas industry with ship design and operations.”

May 29, 2020, 4:07 AM EDT