Utilisation rates for offshore support vessels in the US Gulf of Mexico stand at 62%, the worst of any major offshore oil and gas region, according data compiled by UK-based ship valuation provider VesselsValue. Utilisation rates of OSVs worldwide is 74%.
VesselsValue also reported that utilisation was 67% for offshore construction vessels in the US Gulf of Mexico compared with an estimated 82% worldwide.
"By observing the figures, we can see the market with the highest lay-up is the US Gulf,” said VesselsValue head of offshore Robert Day. “Even with the increased scrapping seen in this region, the US Gulf is still suffering, especially within the OSV and OCV sector.”
It has been a tough few years for many US OSV owners. Louisiana-based Hornbeck Offshore Services (HOS), for example, reported effective utilisation rates of 71.7% for its new generation OSVs for Q4 2018. However, overall utilisation of its new generation OSV was 30.8% for the same period. Effective utilisation relates to active vessels. HOS reported it had 36 OSVs and two multi-purpose service vessels stacked in Q4 2018.
By contrast, VesselsValue reported the northwest European region, which includes the UK North Sea and the Norwegian Continental Shelf, is relatively strong, with utilisation rates for OSVs at 86% and OCVs at 95%. “We have recently witnessed several North Sea owners reactivate vessels due to increased sentiment and opportunity in the region. Interestingly the Middle East Gulf comes in just behind northwest Europe. Southeast Asia and West Africa remain in a similar state."
For its analysis, VesselsValue defines lay-ups based on AIS data. If a vessel's AIS signal has not signalled in over eight weeks, it is classified as in layup.