The development of offshore facilities involves a variety of marine assets. Over the past few decades, there has been a drastic increase in the offshore E&P activities resulting in to increase in development and demand for offshore support vessels. These vessels are used for exploration, development, production and decommissioning phase of an offshore oil, and gas fields. Offshore support vessel (OSV) can be prepared according to the operators specifications. Offshore E&P operations are complex, failure of operations have drastic consequences on economy and environment. Different types of support vessels are required for different offshore environment. Therefore, development in technology has immensely supported the growth of offshore support vessel market.

Increase in oil demand is expected to increase the exploration and production, in turn fueling offshore support vessel market. However, fluctuating oil price, high initial investment, lack of skilled labor, and government regulations are the major restrains for the growth of offshore support vessel market.

Global Offshore Support Vessel Market Taxonomy

On the basis of type, the global offshore support vessel market is segmented as:

  • Anchor Handling Towing and Supply Vessel (AHTS)
  • Seismic Vessel
  • Platform Supply Vessel (PSV)
  • Well Intervention Vessel
  • Offshore Construction Vessel
  • Accommodation Ships
  • Multipurpose Support Vessel (MSV)
  • Crew Vessel
  • Inspection, Maintenance and Repair Vessel (IMR)
  • Mooring Launchers
  • Remote Operating Vessel (ROV)
  • Dive Support Vessel
  • Chase Vessel
  • Safety Standby/Utility Vessel
  • Oil Terminal Support Vessel
  • Others

On the basis of water depth, the global offshore support vessel market is segmented as:

  • Shallow Water
  • Deep Water
  • Ultra-Deep Water

The Anchor Handling Towing and Supply Vessel segment is accounted to have highest demand in the offshore support vessel market. However, demand for Platform Supply Vessel is anticipated to increase over the forecast period.

The shallow water depth segment is accounted to have highest growth in offshore support vessel market, as the expenditure in shallow water is less. However, new projects are established in deep and ultra-deep waters over the last few decades emphasizing on the growth of offshore support vessel market.

Global Offshore Support Vessel Market Outlook

  • Asia Pacific is accounted to have fastest growth in the offshore support vessel market, owing to increase in globalization and energy demand from economies, such as China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Development in technology has led to augment in the offshore support vessel market. Furthermore, increasing consumption and offshore E&P development in Australia, South China Sea, and Gulf of Thailand have driven the offshore support vessel market in this region. According to Baker Hughes, the offshore rig count in Asia Pacific in March 2017 was 76 as compared to March 2016, which was 70.
  • North America is witnessed to have a prominent growth in the offshore support vessel market owing to the increasing production activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Latin America is witnessed to have a burgeoning growth, owing to increase in E&P activities in Golden Triangle (Brazil). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, total offshore production has grown by 6.5% in the U.S. In 2016, Gulf of Mexico is anticipated to witness a production of 0.1 million b/d and 0.2 million b/d in 2017.
  • Middle East is projected to have a significant growth in the offshore support vessel market owing to the rising offshore production activities in Saudi Arabia. According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest producer in offshore field comprising of 13% of world’s total offshore production including Safaniya oil field, with the highest production of 1.1 to 1.5 million b/d.

In 2010, Bumiarmada, offshore support vessel company war awarded hurt-less operations with more than hundred thousand man hours by the ExxonMobil and Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd awarded the company for excellent HSE performance for 250 days.

Some of the famous vessels are:

  • North Sea Giant – World’s tallest offshore vessel
  • Neptune – Powerful jack-up vessel
  • Solitaire – World’s largest pipe laying vessel

Key Developments:

For instance, in February 2014, Edison Chouest Offshore acquired U.S. based Bee Mar LLC, a marine transportation service provider including offshore drilling, production, and construction support, as well as subsea construction. The acquisition included seven vessels, including three 270 Class and four 300 Class platform supply vessels.

In August 2016, Edison Chouest Offshore announced new shipbuilding operation at the Port of Gulfport in Gulfport, Mississippi (U.S.). The company invested US$ 68 million to expand its offshore support vessel market in North American market.

For instance, in November 2018, Houston-based offshore support vessel Tidewater merged with GulfMark Offshore to create largest fleet in offshore support vessel market and merged company have 273 offshore vessels. This merger is expected to increase its product portfolio in North American market.  

The major players operating global offshore support vessel market are maEdison Chouest Offshore, Abdon Callais Offshore, Havila Shipping ASA, Farstad Shipping ASA, Gulfmark Offshore Inc., Bourbon Offshore Marine services, and Island Offshore Management AS.

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