Protracted Supply Overhang & a Gradual Recovery in Subsea Vessel Operations Spend
Douglas-Westwood (DW) forecasts global subsea vessel operations expenditure will total $97.7 billion (bn) between 2016 and 2020.
Author, Mark Adeosun, commented, “This represents an increase of 29% compared to the preceding five-year period. Low hydrocarbon prices, coupled with vessel oversupply will result in low utilisation impacting expenditure over the forecast period. Despite these near-term concerns, subsea vessel demand is set to grow at a 5.2% CAGR over the next five years.
“Africa, Latin America and North America are expected to account for 47.5% of global subsea vessel expenditure between 2016 and 2020. These regions remain vital to subsea vessel demand over the forecast period despite falling oil prices, project delays and the political instability associated with Africa. The development of East African gas basins in the Indian Ocean will contribute to subsea vessel demand in the latter years of the forecast period.”
Research Team Leader and Assistant Editor, Hannah Lewendon, continued, “Vessel supply has increased in recent years due to the current build cycle, which was originally driven by high oil prices and increased demand for higher specification vessels. Recent order intakes have been relatively low and this is not expected to pick up for some time, marking an end to the current newbuild cycle. Among the various vessel types, Multipurpose Support Vessels (MSVs) have the highest orderbook to existing fleet ratio, whilst the proportion of Light Well Intervention Vessels (LWIVs) in the global fleet will remain low.
“As a result of the continued challenging market conditions, subsea vessel providers have been taking additional measures to help strengthen their financial position and stem oversupply in the market by deferring the delivery programme of newly built vessels. We believe that it is unlikely that day rates have bottomed out. Across the global subsea vessel fleet, a 2014-15 decline of at least 30% in day rates is not unlikely before prices stabilise. However, many tier one contractors are joining forces to ensure utilisation and maintain track record.”