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    Gulf of Mexico: broker expects rigs to mop up available tonnage

    News // September 3, 2014

    Broker Marcon is anticipating an increase in the rig count in the Gulf of Mexico and heightened demand for vessels to support them, but not immediately.

    "As the brewers Guinness like to occasionally remind us, “good things come to those who wait”. Well that’s just about the sum of the sentiment listening to some US deepwater offshore vessel operators," said Marcon in its latest report on the offshore market.

    "The long corner is being turned, but it sure is taking its sweet old time. In the meantime the local Gulf shipyards now have the newbuild delivery spigot turned on full but the promised rigs are not on station and drilling.

    "Currently, the rig count stands at around 40-42 level, but predictions see that number increasing to around 50 in the early part of 2015," said Marcon. "With over three deepwater vessels supporting each rig, that’s demand for another 30-40 high spec DP units.

    However, as it noted, even though the market fundamentals remain strong, the "rig bleed-in time" has slowed due to mobilization moving to the right and slower than expected US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and US Coastguard acceptance testing on the rigs.

    With 50 rigs estimated to be in the region in the next 6-9 months, the extra demand is expected to sweep up all the newbuilds coming from the US yards – to a point where the market will either be in equilibrium or there might even be a slight shortfall of tonnage.


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