Further gains for offshore oil & gas vessel markets in 2022, reports Clarksons

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Last year osaw positive progress for offshore oil and gas vessel markets, with the Clarksons Offshore Dayrate Index (Rigs, OSV and Subsea) up 32% to a post-2014 high (84, 2014: 100, 2017: 45). Key indicators of demand and utilisation also ticked up after the moderate post-Covid improvements of 2021. Despite macro-economic risks to the outlook, the markets seem generally “well set”, according to Clarksons.

Steve Gordon (pictured), Managing Director of Clarksons Research commented that energy markets were supportive of increased offshore activity with strong oil prices (Brent averaged $99/bbl driven by Russia-Ukraine conflict and post-Covid demand recovery) and a renewed focus on energy security. Offshore oil and gas is still 16% of global energy supply but only 3% of offshore production is Russian, he pointed out. Normalisation of intervention / maintenance activity after Covid-19 disruption also supported increased vessel demand.

National Oil Companies (NOCs) in particular accelerated offshore FIDs helping take overall offshore oil and gas CAPEX commitments to $102bn in 2022 (up 15% y-o-y), he continued, while the year also saw record MOPU investment (14 awards of $16bn (including 10 FPSO) plus 9 redeployments (including 8 FPSO)). In addition, impacts of multi-year fleet consolidation and contraction – both 2014-19 and immediate Covid-19 impacts – were ongoing.

Other trends noted by Mr Gordon across the major offshore oil and gas fleet segments included a 79% increase for the Middle East jack-up rig market across 2022., Increase in demand for OSV generally was up 7% y-o-y, with utilisation reaching 70% at end year, an increase of 4 points versus end-2021.

Clarksons’ index of OSV day rates rose by 29% to 138 points (still 18% below the 2014 peak), while in the significant large PSV term market in the North Sea, rates ended the year 74% up at £16,000/day.

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