The market for offshore support vessels is expected to become USD 28.5 billion in 2026 from USD 18.44 billion in 2019, while registering a CAGR of approximately 6.50% during the forecast period of 2021 â€“ 2026. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the market due to a reduction in oil consumption around the globe. Also, the demand disruption owing to the travel ban and movement restrictions has further dented the growth of the market. Factors such as rising deepwater development activities, driven by the declining production from the mature fields are likely to drive the offshore drilling market during the forecast period. Additionally, the decline in CAPEX and OPEX for offshore oil and gas projects, owing to reduced operating costs in various regions, has increased the viability of offshore oil and gas projects in recent times. Apart from that, the recent increase in offshore decommissioning activities also led to an increase in the demand for offshore support vessels. However, factors, such as rising demand for dynamic positioning (DP) drilling rigs and increasing pressure on day rates are expected to significantly tighten the market for offshore support vessels during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) to Dominate the Market
- PSV is expected to account for the largest share in the offshore support vessels market owing to the increasing demand for these vessels driven by the uptake in offshore drilling activities.
- As the offshore support vessels (OSV) market is slowly recovering, offshore support vessel owners are focusing on the ways that help them operate more efficiently and further differentiate themselves from their competitors. For this scenario, outfitting the vessels with battery technology has emerged as one of the most viable options. Therefore, battery-hybrid offshore support vessels are expected to create significant opportunities for the offshore support vessel owners and operators in the coming years.
- North America dominated the market across the world as the region witnessed increasing offshore exploration in the regions, such as the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
North America to Dominate the Market
- Platform supply vessels are the offshore vessels used for transportation of equipment, other goods, and rig crew to the offshore drilling and production platform. For deep-water drilling operations, where the offshore rig platforms have limited space, platform supply vessels are also used for transportation of drilling and casing pipes, cement, drilling and completion fluids, and others.
- The demand for platform supply vessels is driven by the uptake in offshore drilling activity. As these wells come into the production stage, the demand is further expected to be boosted. This is expected to result in the improvement of the overall utilization of platform supply vessels in the coming years.
- Platform supply vessels/Supply 4,000 DWT+ and PSV/Supply 3-4000 DWT+ vessels account for the majority of the total PSV vessels in north-west Europe. In Asia-Pacific, especially in India, a flurry of offshore activity is leading to healthy and long-term contracts for the offshore support vessel industry.
- In December 2020, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and bp started the production from the R Cluster, ultra-deep-water gas field in block KG D6 off the east coast of India. These gas fields together are expected to meet approximately 15% of Indiaâ€™s gas demand by 2023. These projects will utilize the existing hub infrastructure in the KG D6 block including the offshore vessels. RIL is the operator of KG D6 with a 66.67% participating interest and bp holds a 33.33% participating interest. Additionally, economically viable production from these areas is expected to further aid the growth of the market.
- Therefore, with the rising number of offshore exploration and production activities across the world, the demand for platform supply vessels is expected to witness a significant growth over the forecast period.
- As a result of higher oil prices and declining drilling cost, the offshore rig count and offshore oil production in North America has increased significantly, indicating growth not only offshore drilling but also production activity, which, in turn, is expected to be the major driver for the offshore support vessels market in the region.
- Since 2016, in the Gulf of Mexico, the new platform installations in shallow water have declined drastically, while the decommissioning activity has increased significantly, indicating the decline in shallow-water production and drilling activity. To maintain offshore production, the exploration and development activity in the United States is moving toward deeper waters, where the oil and gas reserves have not been exploited. This trend is expected to drive the demand for offshore support vessels during the forecast period.
- During the beginning of 2018, the Trump administration allowed new offshore oil and gas exploration and development activity, in nearly all the United States coastal waters, opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic, and along the Eastern Seaboard. However, the change in the political administration might tighten the control over oil and gas drilling in the country, while favoring renewable energy.
- Adding to this, the offshore wind power sector is seen as the major area of development, as the large coastal area is available for leasing, where wind power plants can be built. As a result, the increasing offshore wind activities in the United States is likely to increase the need for construction, operation, maintenance, and other activities, which, in turn, is expected to increase the use of offshore support vessels in the country in the next few years.
- The offshore oil industry in Canada is expected to attract rising investment interests in the coming years, on account of an aggressive push by Newfoundland and Labrador, as prices plummet in oil-rich Alberta.
- In February 2018, Marine Renewables Canada made a strategic decision to extend its focus by including offshore wind energy in its mandate and plans to focus on similarities and synergies of the resources, to advance the sector as a whole and ensure that clean electricity from waves, tides, rivers, and offshore wind play a significant role in Canadaâ€™s low-carbon future.
- All these initiatives would significantly impact the development of offshore wind projects, in turn, increasing the need for construction, operation, maintenance, and inspection activities in the coming years, resulting in the increasing use of offshore support vessels.
- Therefore, increasing offshore exploration and development activities and efforts to promote offshore wind capacity in the region are expected to increase the demand for offshore support vessels over the forecast period.
The offshore support vessels market is partially fragmented, due to the large number of companies operating in the industry. The key players in this market include Tidewater Inc., Bourbon Corporation SA, Seacor Marine Holdings Inc., Maersk Supply Service A/S, and Solstad Offshore ASA.
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