The above is a good question. Sure, there is currently a backlog of new OSVs/PSVs for the U.S. Gulf on the way, but what about new orders for the rest of 2014 and beyond? There have been some talk about oversupply, but analysts say it should be tempered by retirements and repositioning of equipment out of the U.S. Gulf.

At present, there are about 115 high-spec OSVs in the U.S. Gulf, with another 70 or more new ones on the way that have been announced. But most people are still, overall, bullish and not overly concerned about oversupply. And a big plus is that most PSVs/OSVs that are being built in the U.S. Gulf can work just about anywhere, so they will be competitive in the world OSV market. We also continue to see steady demand for more sophisticated OSVs, like the big Z-drive MPSVs Harvey and Hornbeck are building at Eastern.

On Friday in Houston, I will have a chance to hear about all this from analysts, vessel designers, shipbuilders and others at our OSV Design & Technology summit in Houston.

We kick off the day with a keynote address from Dan Gaiennie, vice president of business development and engineering at Leevac Shipyards. Dan will give the shipyard perspective on meeting Gulf OSV demand. Leevac currently has several OSV projects underway including two 270-foot PSVs for Aries Marine, two 300-foot PSVs for Tidewater Marine and two 302-foot MPSVs (STX MPSV 310) for Hornbeck Offshore.

Next, we’ll hear all about LNG from John Dane of Gulf Coast Shipyard Group and Johan Sperling of Jensen Maritime. You’ll not only hear about LNG vessel design and construction, but also issues such as where will LNG supply come from, will there be adequate access to it, and will there be enough infrastructure to support LNG.

I will also moderate a panel on the outlook for the U.S. Gulf OSV market. Analyst G. Allen Brooks and Richard Sanchez of IHS Petrodata will discuss their takes on the market and the outlook for 2015 and beyond. Finally, an all-star lineup of naval architect heavyweights will wrap up the day by discussing OSV/PSV design trends. Hear from William Lind of STX US Marine, Guido Perla of Guido Perla & Associates and Anil Raj of Technology Associates.

I hope to see you on Friday in Houston. There’s still time to register.

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.