Offshore looking good in 2012


In his latest OSV Day Rates column due out later this month, correspondent Jerry Greenberg says that the news in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is good. Rig activity continues to increase, which translates into more work for offshore service vessel operators.

At the end of 2011, according to IHS-Petrodata, Houston, 71 rigs were contracted compared to 61 a year ago. Most OSV and crewboat operators in the U.S. Gulf have seen day rates and utilization increase each month since September. While rates and utilization continue to lag behind a year ago, this is good news.

There have been nice rate increases in the Gulf’s large supply vessel fleet. This is due to the reduction of large technologically advanced OSVs in the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon disaster — an estimated 50 or more. As a result, operators with approved deepwater exploration plans and drilling permits have been chartering any available large capacity deepwater vessels.

Operators that are confident of being awarded deepwater drilling permits are also contracting deepwater vessels. This is a big reason why deepwater exploration activity is expected to continue to increase this year. Another big reason is that more newbuild deepwater rigs are expected to enter the U.S. Gulf and a few that mobilized elsewhere during the drilling moratorium are returning.

This bodes well for 2012 and beyond.


About the author

David Krapf

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

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