The offshore support vessel market continues to face a utilisation challenge, despite forecasted demand recovery this year, according to joint research from Braemar ACM Shipbroking and Westwood.
The research found that over the course of 2020, estimates for total utilisation for the global OSV market fell from 55% in 1Q 2020 to a low of 49% in 3Q 2020 following a sharp decline in rig activity, FID cancellations/deferments and significant logistical challenges posed by the global pandemic.
In efforts to reduce operating costs, vessel owners have been quick to stack idle fleets, with global lay-ups accounting for almost 33% of total capacity.
With effective utilisation estimated at 73% in 1Q 2021, Braemar and Westwood said that owners and operators who wish to remain competitive must consider future tactics for fleet rationalisation, factoring in ageing fleets alongside the financial and environmental costs associated with scrapping.
Earlier this year, Fearnley Offshore Supply said that the tide has turned for the OSV sector, with good visibility in the market going forward.
However, the Norwegian broker noted that this does not mean that the industry can be in any way declared a healthy one, but moving upwards from miserable levels.