Cost reduction the focus for Bourbon Offshore as over 100 vessels remain stacked

France’s Bourbon Offshore says that despite oil prices remaining above $50 a barrel during the first quarter of this year, the offshore support vessel sector has yet to see any sort of recovery.

Bourbon still has over 100 vessel stacked at the moment, with 26 shallow water and 76 deepwater vessels out of action, representing an overall increase of 2 vessels stacked since the end of 2016.

Bourbon said a recovery in drilling activities off South America was one bright spot for its deepwater vessels, however monsoons in Asia and weak drilling and maintenance activity saw utilisation rates fall sharply in the shallow water vessel sector.

The subsea sector continues to show signs of a recovery, with Bourbon claiming the upturn in activity from the last quarter of 2016 has maintained through the first quarter of 2017.

“Despite oil prices remaining above $50 a barrel during the 1st quarter of 2017, activity is yet to recover in the shallow water offshore and deepwater offshore sectors. However, the upturn witnessed in late 2016 in specialized subsea and personnel transport operations looks set to continue in 2017”, commented Jacques de Chateauvieux, chairman and CEO of Bourbon Corporation.

Adjusted revenues for the quarter were €225.5m ($242,3m), down 7.7% from the fourth quarter of 2016.

Bourbon said it will maintain its strategy to concentrate on the utilisation rate of the fleet in operation and to stack vessels proactively.

“Bourbon is therefore focusing its efforts on what it can control: cost reduction and its transformation in response to evolving customers’ expectations,” de Chateauvieux added.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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