Rising jack-up drilling activity in the Middle East has increased offshore support vessel utilisation almost 15% since 2017, according to a leading ship broker and maritime and offshore research consultant
Speaking ahead of ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi, Clarksons Research managing director Steve Gordon, said, “Offshore activity in the Middle East has been increasing, with 122 jack-up rigs now active and project FIDs totalling US$23Bn announced already in 2019. Today we estimate that the Middle East is producing 7M barrels of oil per day (bpd) offshore, nearly one third of global offshore oil supply.”
Mr Gordon said the investments in the Middle East offshore represent one-third of all of the capital expenditures (capex) confirmed globally. Most investment continues to focus on the development or expansion of existing fields.
Going hand-in-hand with the increased drilling activity, offshore support vessel (OSV) activity in the Middle East is increasing in the region, with utilisation at 70%, up from 61% at the start of 2017. Clarksons Research estimates 427 anchor handling tug supply vessels and 159 platform supply vessels are active in the Middle East, operated by owners ADNOC, Tidewater, Milaha, Zakher, Zamil, Stanford Marine, Britoil Offshore, Seacor, Bourbon and Topaz.
According to Clarks Research, demand for jack-up drilling rigs continues to increase, with 122 active in the Middle East region, up from 107 at start 2017 and constituting 30% of global jack-up activity, with further growth expected for 2020. Major drilling contracts active in the region include National Drilling with 20 active units, Valaris (18), Shelf Drilling (11), ARO Drilling (8), Gulf Drilling (7), Noble (6) and ADES (6).
Saudi Aramco are the world’s largest operator of rigs, with 53 currently units currently active, up 26% since start 2017.