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Offshore 'adaptive measures' squeeze grips Bourbon deepwater fleet in Q4

Offshore 'adaptive measures' squeeze grips Bourbon deepwater fleet in Q4
Offshore vessel operator Bourbon reported a 4.4% increase in revenues in 2014 to EUR1.3bn, but with a slow down in deepwater markets towards the end of the year.

The French operator noted an increase of 4.3% in average daily charter rates to $12,254 per day as new contracts came into effect, but oil companies' cost reduction programmes began to squeeze in the fourth quarter.

The company's fleet grew by 20 vessels between 2013 and 2014 to 505 ships in total, reflecting a 5.1% increase in full time equivalent vessels to 492.2, with a 2.3% reduction in average utilisation across the fleet.

For its deepwater offshore vessels, where market oversupply is most prominent, Bourbon saw "significantly lower" utilisation rates than in the same period 2013, although this was partially offset by increased average rates from new contracts and currency fluctuations. Revenues of EUR108.4m were reported in Q4 2014, a 13.3% improvement on Q4 2013. Seven vessels were added between the fourth quarters of 2013 and 2014, bringing the fleet to 79 ships, and utilisation fell 4.3% to 85.8%.

The company's shallow water fleet revenues were up 18.7% in 2014 to EUR446.3bn, with utilisation dipping slightly, but remaining high at 89.8%.

"Adaptive measures begun by oil & gas companies during 2014 have become more significant and widespread, with capital expenditure reductions resulting in delayed and cancelled projects, a trend that is expected to continue in the short term," Bourbon stated in its earnings release.

"Both the medium term and long term continue to be viewed more positively... while oil & gas companies take adaptive measures to address current market conditions, the demand for energy is still strong and with depletion rates of existing fields continuing, there is still a need for further exploration and production investments by the oil & gas companies throughout the world."