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India OSV fleet needs 21% increase

India’s demand for crude oil and gas is projected to increase by 3% in the financial year 2013-14, even as the country’s production is currently steady at 0.76m barrels per day (bpd).

As many as 25 fields are in production at the moment, while another 35 are under development, and are expected to start producing by 2015. A majority of these fields are between 500 m and 1,500 m in depth, and are less than 100 km offshore.

“In order to ensure support for drilling and production, the Indian fleet of offshore support vessels (OSVs) needs to increase by an estimated 21%,” said Derek Novak, vice-president – operations for ABS Pacific, India Shipping Summit in Mumbai.

“Due to the field proximity and depth, we see an increase in demand for small and mid-sized OSVs and anchor-handling anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTSs).”

Novak conceded that the global GDP growth and world trade volume would witness continued weak growth in the second half of 2013, but there would then be a gradual improvement.

“Some dampening headwinds are still present, in the form of sovereign debt, energy prices, geo-political issues, etc,” he said. “But, all things considered, the economic outlook is projected to be brighter from later this year with a more earnest uptick next year. World trade is forecast to grow by 3.3% this year, with improvement to 5.2% next year, compared with just 2.4% in 2012.”

In offshore oilfields, the focus would continue to be on deepwater, with the number of deepwater discoveries matching the number of shallow discoveries for the first time last year.

“Floating Production Systems are forecast to grow 40% in the next five years; there are 248 potential systems in the planning stage, with FPSOs expected to account for 70%,” Novak said.

“Global OSV demand is set to keep rising in 2013. Ultra-deepwater activity will be a key contributor, with worldwide demand expected to grow 8-10% this year, following a 9% increase last year. Deepwater activity also requires a greater number of larger, more powerful vessels.” 

Novak said that a boost in demand was projected for small and midsize AHTSs, due to an increase in jack-up demand in the Middle East and South-East Asia. With 74 floaters and 130 jack-up rigs scheduled to be delivered in 2013, demand would be created for over 400 new boats for support and anchor handling.

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