Rough seas for small OSVs

Offshore support vessel (OSV) owners are facing slack demand and falling day rates in major marine transportation markets.

U.S. Gulf of Mexico: Offshore rig demand in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico continues to decline, tightening the number of jobs for OSVs in the area. OSV owners are facing sinking bottom lines and are doing their best to keep their boats and their people working. One Gulf owner facing difficult times said, “It’s a tough market, but we’ve been through this before. I have to work my boats. We have to find a bottom to oil and gas prices.”One pragmatic owner said, “We will be in good shape till end of April. Construction in April might help. Less desirable boats have to compete against newer boats for the same prices.” Some less sophisticated vessels are being forced out of the market, all to the advantage of vessel owners’ customers, if those customers have work, as they can charter higher-end vessels for less money. Owners of smaller, older vessels have little choice but to lay up equipment. For example, Seacor announced it had cold-stacked 15 U.S. Gulf OSVs. Deepwater work is holding steady. A vessel manager with a sizable fleet said, “We’re taking a guarded approach; the fundamentals are pretty strong, decent for deepwater.

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